Friends of Singapore Group (FoS): Sorin MOISĂ (S&D, RO) led a delegation to Singapore for the official launch of the group, which was hosted in a ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The group is comprised of 22 MEPs from 12 countries and from the main political groups in the European Parliament. Antonio LOPEZ -ISTÚRIZ WHITE (EPP, ES), Inmaculada RODRIGUEZ -PINERO FERNANDEZ (S&D, ES), Marlene MIZZI (S&D, MT) and Emma MCCLARKIN (UK, ECR) joined the Chair of the group during the trip from 30 March to 1 April. The event was attended by Singapore’s Foreign Minister, Vivian BALAKRISHNAN. The two sides discussed the political and business developments in the EU and the ratification of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA).
Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT):
Directorate A: Components and Systems - Photonics A.1: Ronan BURGESS became acting Head of Unit, replacing Wolfgang BOCH.
Directorate F: Digital Economy and Coordination - Programme Coordination F.3: Eric BADIQUÉ became acting Head of Unit, replacing Morten MØLLER.
Directorate D: Advisers – Institutional Cooperation and Translation Centre: José Luis VEGA EXPÓSITO leaves role as Adviser, creating a vacant position.
Directorate F: Markets and Cases V – Transport, Post and other services: Henrik MØRCH became Director, following on from his position as acting Director. Nicolas IMBERT moves in to MØRCH’s previous role, Head of Unit F.3 State Aid: Post and other services, going from Deputy Head to acting Head.
Directorate A: Cooperation in the European Statistical System – A.4 Budget, Financial Management and Internal Control: Susanne TAILLEMITE became acting Head of Unit, replacing Véronique WASBAUER.
Human Resources and Security (HR):
HR.02 Luxembourg Site Coordination – Benoît VERMEERSCH became acting Head of Unit, replacing Sergio MARTEGANI
European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF):
Unit 0.2: Human Resources and Budget – Eddy WEYNS became Head of Unit, replacing Jacky MARTEAU.
Directorate B: Investigations II – B.3 Agricultural and Structural Funds II: Antonio BELLUCCI became acting Head of Unit, replacing WEYNS who moved to Unit 0.2.
Office for Administration and Payment (PMO):
Adviser - Business Continuity: Petrus KERSTENS leaves his position.
Special Advisers to the President, Vice-Presidents and Commissioners:
There are new appointments of Special Advisers as of 1 April 2016 to March 2017. Changes as bellow:
President Jean-Claude JUNCKER:
Outgoing: Edmund STOIBER (Better Regulation)
High Representative Federica MOGHERINI:
Incoming: Patrick DE ROUSIERS (Security and defence in relation to global security strategy)
Vice-President Kristalina GEORGIEVA:
Outgoing: Irena PETRUSKEVICIENE (Audit Progress Committee)
Juan RAMALLO MASSANET (Financial Irregularities)
Incoming: Arjen W.H. MEIJ (from 01/05/16 – President of Disciplinary Board)
Eckart GUTH (Post-2020 multiannual financial framework)
Vice-President Valdis DOMBROVSKIS:
Outgoing: Jacques PONCET (Task Force Greece)
Incoming: Pierre LEPETIT (from 01/05/16 – Public admin reform in selected member states)
Stephanos SAMARAS (Structural funds in selected member states esp. Agricultural and Rural and Fisheries and Maritime funds)
Vice-President Jyrki KATAINEN:
Incoming: Valerie HERZBERG (Competitiveness of European Economy)
Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger:
Incoming: Emmanuel GABLA (Regulatory issues in digital fields)
Commissioner Neven MIMICA:
Incoming: Zita GURMAI (Gender policy and implementation of EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020)
Commissioner Christos STYLIANIDES:
Incoming: Constantinos NEOPHYTOU (Public-private partnerships)
Commissioner Phil HOGAN:
Outgoing: Francisco DEAVILLEZ (Communication and Implementation of policy)
Commissioner Violeta BULC:
Outgoing: Miro MILANOVIC (Electrification on passenger cars)
Incoming: Stefan BLACHFELLNER (Infrastructure, Data, Apps, Services, Network in context of multi-modality)
Commissioner Vera JOUROVA:
Outgoing: Iveta RADICOVA (Fundamental rights)
Incoming: François FALLETTI (Criminal judicial cooperation)
Commissioner Tibor NAVRACICS:
Outgoing: György FÓRIS (Culture and Investment in education)
Incoming: Judit KÖRMENDY-ÉKES (Culture and Copyright issues)
Commissioner Corina CREȚU:
Outgoing: Philip MCCANN (Cohesion, smart specialisation policy)
Slavo RODOSEVIÇ (Economic development for Central and Eastern Europe)
Missions to the EU:
The following Ambassadors presented their letters of credentials to the President of the European Council, Donald TUSK:
Republic of Niger: H.E. Mr Ousmane ALHASSANE ABBA, replacing Adani ILLO.
Republic of Honduras: H.E. Mr Roberto OCHOA MADRID, replacing Roberto Flores BERMUDEZ.
Sudan: H.E. Mr Mutrif SIDDIG ALI, replacing Eltigani Salih FIDAIL.
Kingdom of Thailand: H.E. Ms Busaya MATHELIN, replacing Nopadol GUNAVIBOOL.
United Mexican States: H.E. Mr Eloy CANTU SEGOVIA, replacing Juan José Ignacio GÓMEZ CAMACHO.
European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA): Frank SCHLEHUBER succeeded Wolfgang MEYER as Aftermarket Director on 1 April.
European Young Federalists (JEF Europe): Valentin DUPOUEY was appointed as the new Secretary-General, taking over from Ioan BUCURAS.
European Wind Energy Association (EWEA): rebranded to WindEurope. Chief Executive Officer of Enel Green Power, Francesco VENTURINI was elected as its new Chairman for an 18 month term, taking over from Markus TACKE.
Weber Shandwick: Benjamin FOX was appointed as Digital Strategist in Brussels office. He will be working across the Public Affairs, Corporate Communications and Consumer Marketing teams and will have an active role within the Benelux digital team.
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News in a nutshell:
European Parliament: MEPs are heading to Strasbourg from Monday 11 to Thursday 14 April for the plenary session.
ALDE Party: announced that its next Congress will take place in Warsaw, Poland from Thursday 1 to Saturday 3 December 2016. The party’s Council is scheduled for June in Vilnius, Lithuania.
United Nations: Another nomination was added to the list for the Secretary-General post. Prime Minister of New Zealand, John KEY nominated ex-premier, Helen CLARK.
Ireland: Micheál MARTIN, leader of Fianna Fáil (ALDE) rejected a formal offer made by acting Prime Minister Enda KENNY, Fine Gael (EPP). The TDs (MPs) of Fianna Fáil urged Micheál MARTIN to allow them to abstain in next week’s vote for Taoiseach (Prime Minister).
France: Economy Minister Emmanuel MACRON set up his own political movement, named “On the Move” (En Marche) on Wednesday 6 April. The movement, which is neither on left nor on the right has sparked speculation as to whether he plans on running in next year’s presidential elections.
Netherlands: The Dutch rejected the EU-Ukraine association agreement in a referendum that was held on Wednesday 6 April. Read more.
Spain: The meeting of the Socialist Party (S&D), Podemos (GUE/NGL) and Ciudadanos (ALDE) failed to reach an agreement. If still no agreement by 2 May, the parliament will be dissolved and new elections will be called.
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM): The Parliament was dissolved on Thursday 7 April ahead of the snap elections on 5 June.