Movers and Shakers | 10 July 2020

Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our Movers and Shakers column.

By Mia Bartoloni

Mia Bartoloni is the Editor of Dods People EU and the European Public Affairs Directory (EPAD)

10 Jul 2020

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: Two appointments of Commission Deputy Directors-General, MEPs approve a candidate for Executive Director of EBA, meet the new Eurogroup President, France’s Jean Castex government, the latest Commission, public affairs appointments, and more!

European Parliament

Committees and Delegations

Stelios Kympouropoulos (EPP, EL) joins the Petitions Committee (PETI) replacing Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (EPP, EL).
Marc Angel (S&D, LU) joins the Petitions Committee (PETI).
Ibán García Del Blanco (S&D, ES) joins the Petitions Committee (PETI).
Cristian Ghinea (RE, RO) joins the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (AGRI) replacing Dacian Cioloş (RE, RO).

Angel Dzhambazki (ECR, BG) joins the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO).
Elżbieta Rafalska (ECR, PL) joins the Budgetary Control Committee (CONT).
Kosma Złotowski (ECR, PL) joins the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO).
Andżelika Anna Możdżanowska (ECR, PL) leaves the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) and joins the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON).
Victor Negrescu (S&D, RO) joins the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON).

European Commission

Commissioner cabinets

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel
Isidro Laso Ballesteros has been appointed cabinet expert for innovation. Laso Ballesteros has worked in the Commission for nearly two decades, most recently as Deputy Head of Innovation Ecosystems, European innovation Council (European DARPA) and Head of Startups and Scaleups sector, STARTUP EUROPE.

Directorates-General and Services

Competition (COMP)
Linsey McCallum (DE, UK) has been appointed to the function of Deputy Director-General responsible for antitrust. A lawyer by profession, McCallum joined the Commission in 1993 and has most recently worked as Cabinet Expert for the Vice-President and Commissioner for Europe Fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager. The date of effect of this appointment is yet to be determined.

Energy (ENER)
Massimo Garribba (IT) has been appointed Deputy Director-General responsible for the Coordination of Euratom Policies as of 16 July. Garribba has occupied the role in an acting capacity since December 2019 and has also occupied the position of Director of Directorate D (Nuclear energy, safety and ITER).

Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR)
Katarína Mathernová replaces Peter Wagner as Director, Support Group for Ukraine in an acting capacity.

Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO)
Monika Hencsey replaces Agnés Monfret as Director of Directorate A (Budget, Communication and General Affairs). Monfret, who is Head of Unit A2 (Communication) was performing the role in an acting capacity.
Axel Badrichani replaces Marcela Buzoi as Head of Unit C2 (Audit I). The latter, who is Deputy Head of Unit, was performing the role in an acting capacity.

Spokesperson’s Service (SPP)
Veronica Favalli joins as press officer for education and culture, foresight, Joint Research Centre and Future of Europe. Favalli was previously policy adviser at the Italian General Confederation of SMEs, Professions and Self-Employment in Brussels.
Alice Hobbs joins as press officer for Justice and Consumers, Equality, Rule of Law. Hobbs has worked at Commission since 2014 where she started as a Blue Book Trainee and then went on to work as a Speechwriter for President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD)
Lina Papamichalopoulou replaces Philip Kermode as Director of Directorate A (Customs) in an acting capacity.
Emiliano Pena Fernandez replaces Diego Papaldo as Head of Unit B2 (Architecture and Digital Operations). The latter was performing the role in an acting capacity alongside their responsibility as Head of Unit B1 (Processes & Data, customer Relationship and planning). Pena Fernandez is replaced in his previous role as Head of Unit B4 (Taxation systems & digital governance) by Stefka Dzhumalieva.
Reinhard Biebel replaces Astrid Van Mierlo as Head of Unit D2 (Direct tax policy & cooperation) Van Mierlo was performing the role in acting capacity.
Emer Traynor replaces Veerle De Leeuw as Head of Unit E2 (Inter-institutional relations, coordination, communication and strategic planning).

Council of the European Union

After two rounds of voting, Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe was elected President on Thursday evening after receiving more votes than Spain’s Nadia Calviño. Luxembourg’s Pierre Gramegna withdrew from the race after the first round of voting after he failed to win enough support. Donohoe will have the role of chairing and setting the agenda for discussions among the euro zone finance ministers, as well as setting the group’s long-term agenda. Donohoe, a member of the Fine Gael (EPP) party, has served as finance minister in Ireland since 2017. He will take office as President of the Eurogroup on 13 July for a two-and-a-half-year term, succeeding Mário Centeno.

General Secretariat
Current Slovak Permanent Representative to the EU Peter Javorčík has been appointed the new Director-General for Transport, Energy, Environment, Education (TREE). He will start his new job on 1 October 2020., succeeding Jaroslaw Pietras, Director-General of DG TREE since 2008, who will be retiring.

EU Institutions and Agencies

European Banking Authority (EBA)
MEPs approved François-Louis Michaud for the post of Executive Director on Wednesday with 343 votes in favour, 296 against and 56 abstentions. This decision overturns the rejection of his candidature by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee last week (24 votes against, 23 in favour, 10 abstentions). (24 votes against, 23 in favour, 10 abstentions). Chair of Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee Evelyn Regner (S&D, AT) had previously urged her colleagues to vote against the appointment because the EBA has not offered a gender-balanced shortlist with a female candidate alongside Michaud.

European Court of Auditors
MEPs have backed Helga Berger as the Austrian member of the European Court of Auditors (60 in favour, 221 against and 114 abstentions). Berger is currently Director General of Budget and Public Finances in the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance. The Council can now appoint her for a renewable term of six years.

European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO)
EPPO is to face further delays due to Member States not appointing prosecutors, according to European Public Prosecutor Laura Codruța Kövesi. Kövesi’s statement comes after suggestions that recruitment standards in selecting candidates could be lowered by the European Commission in order to accommodate more suitable candidates from Malta.

Public Affairs

Water Europe
The composition of its Board of Directors for the period 2020-2021 has been announced. Five Vice-Presidents will be elected by the board in September. For full details of the board, please see here.

National News

The governing Croatian Democratic Union took the lead in Sunday’s election contrary to polls that suggested that a spike in COVID-19 cases could weaken the popularity of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. However, the party did not receive a majority which means coalition negotiations will take place.

A mini reshuffle has been completed with the appointment of former deputy shipping minister Natasa Pilides as minister for energy, commerce and industry, replacing Giorgos Lakkotrypis. The appointment of Pilides comes a week after President Nicos Anastasiades swore in Emily Yiolitis as the new Minister for Justice and Public Order, succeeding Giorgos Savvides and Charalambos Petrides as the new Minister for Justice, taking over from Savvas Angelides.

President Emmanuel Macron presented his new government on Monday. The announcement of the new government follows the appointment of Jean Castex as new prime minister, replacing Edouard Philippe who submitted his resignation last Friday. The new government includes a total of 31 members, with 16 ministers, 14 deputy ministers and 1 secretary of state attached to the prime minister.

Amongst the most significant appointments is Gérald Darmanin, who replaces Christophe Castaner as Minister for the Interior. At the age of 37 Darmanin, who is a close ally of Nicolas Sarkozy is the youngest interior minister in France’s history. He previously served as Minister of Public Action and Accounts in the Philippe government.

For a full breakdown of the new cabinet including biographical and contact details, visit

King Willem-Alexander has sworn in former State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment Tamara van Ark as Minister for Medical Care and Sport. Bas van 't Wout will replace van Ark in her previous position. Both are members of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (ALDE). Van Ark takes over from Martin van Rijn who held the position for three months after his predecessor Bruno Bruins had to step down in March after collapsing from exhaustion.

Stay ahead of the game by subscribing to our weekly newsletter. 

Want to know more? Click here for more information on our Dods People EU service. 

Read the most recent articles written by Mia Bartoloni - Movers and Shakers | 16 July 2021


EU Institutions
Share this page