Movers and Shakers | 11 June 2018

Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.

By Ifigenia Balkoura

11 Jun 2018

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: MEP news, the new EASO executive director, appointments in the European Commission and public affairs, European Development Days, European elections, the new Spanish government, Brexit and more.  


European Parliament:

Composition of the committees and delegations:
Michael DETJEN (S&D, DE) joined the delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula (D-KOR).

MEP news:
Esther DE LANGE (NL) was appointed as Vice-President of EPP Party.
Eric ANDRIEU (FR) was appointed as Vice-President of the S&D group, replacing Isabelle THOMAS.

Blockchain: The European Parliament’s Blockchain Day brought together Europe’s digital and tech community. The event was the brainchild of Eva KAILI (S&D, EL), Parliament’s rapporteur on blockchain, and was co-hosted and co-organised by her colleagues Antanas GUOGA (EPP, LT), Sorin MOISA (EPP, RO) and Katalin IVAN (S&D, RO). The event was attended by top thinkers from industry, regulatory bodies and academia from Europe and the US. Over the course of four sessions, participants discussed the challenges of scalability, standardisation and security, public sector applications, the role of cryptocurrencies and ICOs for funding innovation and the future of the EU’s blockchain ecosystem.

Fighting marine litter: On Thursday 7 June, the European Parliament intergroup on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development organised a conference on the marine litter, which was co-hosted by Angélique DELAHAYE (EPP, FR) and Ricardo SERRAO SANTOS (S&d, PT).  The aim of the conference was to bring together policy-makers, the research community, private sector, and NGOs to engage in an informed debate on the topic of biodegradable plastics in the marine environment and the potential solution they represent, as well as the need to have a clear definition and a clear standards at EU level on marine biodegradability.

Plenary session: 

MEPs are in Strasbourg this week from Monday 11 to Thursday 14 June. Dutch Prime Minister Mark RUTTE will address the chamber and will debate the future of Europe. Read what’s on the agenda.

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European Commission:

European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF): 
Directorate C - Investigation support: Dorothe DALHEIMER was appointed as head of legal advice, replacing current head of budget and HR business correspondent Jacky MARTEAU, who was acting in the role.

International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO): 
Directorate B - People and Peace: Chiara ADAMO started her new role as head of gender equality, human rights and democratic government. Ms ADAMO was previously head of fundamental rights and rule of law in DG JUST and replaced current deputy head of the same unit Fabienne VAN DEN EEDE, who was acting in the role.

Budget (BUDG): 
Following the appointment of Director-General Nadia CALVIÑO as the new Spanish minister for the economy, deputy Director-General Silvano PRESA is currently acting in the role.
For more information on the new Spanish government, see news in a nutshell.

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

European Investment Bank (EIB):

Emma NAVARRO was appointed by the board of governors as new Vice-President and member of the management committee. Prior to her appointment, Ms NAVARRO was general secretary of the treasury and financial policy of Spain.


European elections:

The count down until the next European elections has already started. Here’s the latest:

MEPs will vote on Wednesday 13 June on the final confirmation of the proposed seat re-distribution.   

Check out the “This time I’m voting” awareness-raising campaign.

During a seminar at the North Norway European office, celebrating 25 years of Barents cooperation, Swedish, Estonian and Finnish MEPs agreed that an Arctic group should be formed in the next Parliament.

On 7 June, the European Women’s Lobby launched its 50-50 campaign for the next European elections, aiming at reshaping power in the EU.  


European Committee of the Regions (CoR):

Incoming (DK): 
Members: Arne LÆGAARD and Per NØRHAVE

Bouke ARENDS (PES, NL) was appointed as rapporteur on resolving legal and administrative obstacles in cross-border context.
Isabelle BOUNDINEAU (PES, FR) was appointed as rapporteur on the Connecting-Europe Facility.
Catiuscia MARINI (PES, IT) was appointed as co-rapporteur on the common provision regulation.
Susana DÍAZ PACHECO (PES, ES) was appointed as rapporteur on the European social fund plus.


European Asylum Support Office (EASO):

Following the resignation of José CARREIRA on 6 June, Jamil ADDOU was appointed as interim executive director until a new executive director is appointed.


Interview with Commissioner Mariya GABRIEL:

European digital economy and society Commissioner Mariya Gabriel talked to the Parliament Magazine about GDPR implementation, cyber hygiene, Netflix quotas and more. Read it here.


Public affairs:

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Brewers of Europe: Pavlos PHOTIADES, Managing Director of Photos Photiades Breweries and Photos Photiades Group, was re-elected as president for a second term.

European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services and SGIs (CEEP): During its statutory meeting on 1 June, the General Assembly unanimously re-elected Valeria RONZITTI as General Secretary for a three-year mandate, a role she has held since 2012.

International Air Transport Association (IATA): Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airlines was appointed as the new chairman of the board of governors for a one-year term.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Laurence BOONE was appointed as the new chief economist as of end of July, replacing Catherine MANN.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: Ahead of the return of the EU Withdrawal bill to the House of Commons on Tuesday 12 June, it emerged that the MPs will be given only 12 hours to debate the bill, on which the UK Government was defeated 15 times in the House of Lords.

On Thursday 7 June, the UK published a technical note with its proposal for a backstop customs arrangement to avoid a hard border with Ireland after the transition period. Among the main points, the note mentions that “the temporary customs arrangement, should it be needed, should be time limited and only in place until the future customs deal is introduced” and that the UK expects the future arrangement to be in place by end of December 2021.

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel BARNIER said the EU will examine the UK’s latest proposals based on whether it is a workable solution to avoid a hard boarder, whether it respects the integrity of the single market and the customs union and whether it is an all-weather backstop.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, BARNIER rejected the UK’s proposal that the whole of the UK should stay in the customs union, as “the EU’s backstop proposal has been designed for the specific situation of Northern Ireland.”  He also said that the six-page document “raises more questions than it provides answers”, adding that “we are not going to be intimidated by this form of blame game”.

The European Parliament’s chief negotiator Guy VERHOFSTADT, commenting on the proposal, tweeted that “it’s difficult to see how UK proposal on customs aspects of IE/NI backstop will deliver a workable solution to avoid a hard border and respect integrity of the single market and the customs union. A backstop that is temporary is not a backstop, unless the definitive arrangement is the same as the backstop.”

Regarding the final deal, UK Foreign Office minister Alan DUNCAN said earlier this week that it would "just be possible to ask the people" for their opinion on the agreement, but not on whether Britain should be a member of the EU.

According to the Department for revenue and customs, millions of pounds could be missed out, as projects have been paused, so staff can focus on implementing customs arrangements post Brexit.

On 4 June, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on complementing EU type-approval legislation with regard to the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, seeking to address legal uncertainties for manufacturers with UK type-approvals. It also published notices for the stakeholders on the enforcement of intellectual property rights and preferential origin of goods.

Elsewhere in Brussels, on 28 June pro-Europeans are teaming up to perform an anti-Brexit flashmob at the Schuman roundabout, during the EU summit. More information here.  

Slovenia: The anti-immigration Democratic Party (SDS) won 25 per cent of the votes on the elections held on 3 June.

Spain:  Pedro SANCHEZ was sworn in on 3 June as the new Prime Minister and on Thursday 7 June formed a new cabinet, which is mostly comprised of women.
Nadia CALVIÑO, who until this week was Director General of the European Commission’s budget directorate general was appointed as economy minister and Josep BORRELL was appointed as the new foreign and European affairs minister. In other ministerial appointments, Luis PLANAS, the Secretary-General of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) was appointed as the new minister for agriculture.  
SANCHEZ said that he intends to lead the country until mid-2020, when the current parliamentary term comes to end.




Read the most recent articles written by Ifigenia Balkoura - Movers and Shakers | 26 November 2018