Movers and Shakers | 13 February 2017

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

13 Feb 2017

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: the new cabinet of the President of the European Parliament, latest appointments in the Commission and public affairs, the new Permanent Representative of Finland, the new Turkish Ambassador to the EU, the new German President, Brexit and more.


European Parliament:

President’s cabinet:
Head of cabinet:
Diego CANGA FANO joins the cabinet from DG AGRI where he was Director of Quality, Research and Innovation, Outreach.

Deputy Head of cabinet for Internal Affairs: Alessandro CHIOCCHETTI will oversee Plenary and Brexit, amongst other areas. He joins from the EP Secretariat where he was head of the ‘Legislative Coordination and Programming’ unit.

Deputy Head of cabinet for External Relations, Spokesperson: Carlo CORAZZA will look after the President’s communication strategy. His most recent role was in DG GROW.

Advisor:  Markus WARASIN becomes a cabinet advisor for relationships with institutions, people and regions. Prior to this he was head of the secretariat for the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee.

Team Leaders:
Bureau and Administration
: Alessandro CHIOCCHETTI
Legislation: Michael WEISS
External Policies: Jesper HAGLUND
Communication: Delia VLASE

Head of private office: Chiara SALVELLI

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Political Groups:
ECR Group: James HOLTUM will leave his role as Spokesperson to join the international security and strategy consultancy, Rasmussen Global.

Committees and Delegations:

Latest news:
Panama Papers:
As part of a fact-finding mission by the Money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion Committee (PANA) to Malta, MEPs requested a meeting with members of the Maltese Parliament. The delegation asked to meet with members and former members of the Maltese government but only finance minister Edward SCICLUNA and Beppe FENECH ADAMI, the former minister of internal affairs and Nationalist Party deputy leader, have so far confirmed their participation. Read more.
MEPs also slammed the Head of the German private bank Berenberg, Hans-Walther PETERS, who refused to be questioned by the members of the PANA Committee. Fabio DE MASI (GUE/NGL, DE), Vice-Chair of the committee, said, "PETERS has referred us to the 'ongoing investigations.' "His no-show can only be interpreted as a guilty plea as PETERS had already been invited to come before the Parliament in his role as acting president of the Association of German Banks. Read more.
Meantime, a legal row has flared between the European Parliament and EU member states over the special committee’s remit. Sven GIEGOLD (Greens/EFA, DE), a member of the PANA committee, accused both the council and commission of a “lack of transparency” in declining to cooperate with the inquiry, a situation he described as “unacceptable.” Read more.

EU ETS: MEPs will hold a crucial vote on the reform of ETS, including better management of the supply of allowances in the system in Stasbourg on Monday 13 February. However, the cement industry has, according to Dutch Greens MEP Bas EICKHOUT (NL), been lobbying MEPs intensively in the run up to the vote, urging them to support amendments which would allow the sector to continue receiving free allocations. Read more.

Impact of robots on employment: A parliamentary event, co-hosted by Greek MEPs Eva KAILI and member Manolis KEFALOGIANNIS was told there is growing concern about the impact of automation on employment. MEPs heard that many jobs across Europe had already been destroyed by automation. Read more.

European Arrest Warrant mechanism: An event held in the European Parliament on Tuesday 7 February was told that while the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) has proved a “useful tool” in combating terrorism and serious crime it is currently being “undermined” by a “number of flaws” and needs reformed. The two-hour discussion, entitled ‘The European Arrest Warrant in Question’ heard criticism of the European Commission for its perceived reluctance to address “serious shortcomings” in the EAW. Read more.



Rebecca HARMS (Greens/EFA, DE) was elected as the new Chair of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly (D-EPA), replacing Heidi HAUTALA (Greens/EFA, FI).

Dariusz ROSATI (EPP, PL) was elected as the new Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee (D-UA), filling the vacant role.

Peter KOUROUMBASHEV (S&D, BU) was elected as the new Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (D-ME).

Salvatore Domenico POGLIESE (EPP, IT) joined the Delegation for relations with Mercosur (D-MER) and the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (D-LAT).

Massimiliano SALINI (EPP, IT) joined the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).

Elisabetta GARDINI (EPP, IT) joined the Delegation for relations with the Federative Republic of Brazil (D-BR).

Maria GRAPINI (S&D, RO) switched from substitute to member of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly (D-EPA).

Inés AYALA SENDER (S&D, ES) joined the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union (D-MAG), switched from substitute to member of the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (D-MED) and left the Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America (D-CAM).

Hannu TAKKULA (ALDE, FI) joined the Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT), replacing Michael THEURER (ALDE, DE).

Diane JAMES (NI, UK) joined the Committee on Petitions (PETI), replacing Jean-Marie LE PEN (NI, FR).

Dubravka ŠUICA (EPP, HR) joined the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Theodoros ZAGORAKIS (EPP, EL) left the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), replacing Antanas GUOGA (EPP, LT) and joined the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL).

Herbert DORFMANN (EPP, IT) joined the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Lara COMI (EPP, IT) joined the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Delegation to the EU-Chile Joint Parliamentary Committee (D-CL), replacing Roberts ZĪLE (ECR, LV).

José Ignacio SALAFRANCA SÁNCHEZ-NEYRA (EPP, ES) joined the Committee on International Trade (INTA).

Inés AYALA SENDER (S&D, ES) Left the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries (D-MAS).

Morten LØKKEGAARD (ALDE, DK) joined the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT), replacing Hannu TAKKULA (ALDE, FI).

Martin SONNEBORN (NI, DE) joined the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET).

Sotirios ZARIANOPOULOS (NI, EL) joined the Committee on Petitions (PETI).

Diane JAMES (NI, UK) joined the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

Diane DODDS (NI, UK) joined the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO).


Secretariat General:
DG - Internal Policies:
Monika STRASSER became Director of Directorate B – Budgetary Affairs, replacing Anne VITREY. Ms STRASSER was previously Head of Unit, ‘Protocol Service’, in the Presidency DG.

DG – Infrastructure and Logistics: Kirsten LÜDDECKE became Director of Directorate D – Building Projects, replacing Diogo QUINTELA.

DG – Communication: Jaume DUCH GUILLOT was appointed Director-General, replacing Juana LAHOUSSE-JUAREZ. Mr DUCH GUILLOT also oversees the Media Directorate in this DG.

Plenary session:
MEPs are in Strasbourg from Monday 13 to Thursday 16 February.

Get to know:
Eva KAILI (S&D, EL) in 5 questions.


European Commission:

Jean-Claude JUNCKER announced that he will not seek a second mandate as President in 2019.

Commissioner cabinets:

Cabinet of Cecilia Malmström: Isabelle MAGNE joined Commissioner MALMSTRÖM’s team replacing Cécile BILLAUX who has moved to DG TRADE as a deputy head of unit.

Directorates General:
Spokesperson Service (SPP):

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Research, Innovation and Science: Maud NOYON joined the SPP as a Press Office. Ms NOYON was formerly a Press Officer in the President’s cabinet of the European Parliament.

Budget (BUDG):
Directorate A – Expenditure: Lars Jorgen MAGNUSSON became acting Head of Unit, ‘External Policies’, replacing Vijay BHARDWAJ.

Joint Research Centre (JRC):
Directorate H – Knowledge Management: Margarida ABECASIS became Head of Unit, ‘Text and Data Mining’ replacing Giovanni DE SANTI, who was acting in the role. Ms ABECASIS joins JRC from DIGIT.

Directorate R – Resources: Maurizio BAVETTA became acting Head of Unit, ‘Maintenance and Utilities’, replacing James GRAY, who has moved to HR.

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

Conference on Wildlife Trafficking:
On 8 February the European Commission organised a conference on the implementation of the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking. Daniel CALLEJA, Director General of DG Environment opened the event by saying that the European Commission was proud to announce that they had adopted the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking. They wanted to have a united position and to go to the CITES COP with an Action Plan and they wanted to show European leadership in this area. Read the Dods EU Monitoring briefing here.


Permanent Representations:

Finland: Marja RISLAKKI was appointed as the new Permanent Representative to the EU, replacing Pilvi-Sisko VIERROS-VILLENEUVE. Mrs RISLAKKI will start her new role in September 2017.


Missions to the European Union:

Turkey: Donald TUSK received the letter of credentials for H.E. Mr Faruk KAYMAKCI. Mr KAYMAKCI takes over from Ayse UZER who was Charge d’Affairs.


Public Affairs:

Got any new appointment you would like us to include in our next newsletter? Contact Ifigenia Balkoura!

European Lotteries Association: Arjan VAN ‘T VEER was appointed as the new Secretary General, starting on 1 March.

Global Progressive Forum (GPF): Enrique GUERRERO SALOM MEP (S&D, ES) was elected as the new President, taking over from Gianni PITTELLA (S&D, IT).

Nord Stream 2 AG: Sebastian SASS was appointed as EU Representative on 1 February. In his new role, he will be supporting the engagement with EU stakeholders


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: On 8 February British MPs overwhelmingly backed the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) bill by 494 to 122 without any changes, clearing a major hurdle on its way to becoming a law. Read more. The Scottish Parliament had voted the day before against triggering Article 50 by 90 to 34. Although not legally binding, the Scottish result once again highlights the difference in attitudes towards leaving the EU between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Read more.
MPs voted by 332 to 290 an amendment to the Government’s bill to guarantee the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK after Brexit. The defeated amendment would have prevented Prime Minister Theresa MAY from invoking the Brexit process before she guaranteed that all EU citizens who were resident in the UK on the day of the 2016 referendum, and had been since at least 23 December 2015, be granted permanent residence. Read more. Before the crucial vote, a cross-party group of MEPs, including Claude MORAES (S&D), Seb DANCE (S&D) and Catherine BEARDER (ALDE), wrote an emotional plea to Theresa MAY urging her to guarantee the rights of EU migrants living in the UK after Brexit. Read more.
The British government now needs the approval of the House of Lords before implementing its Brexit timetable before the end of March. Debates in the Lords will start on February 20  Read more.

European Public Prosecutor's office: On 7 February EU Member States failed to agree on a regulation creating a European Public Prosecutor's office, paving the way for the referral of at least nine Member States to discuss the issue in the European Council in an attempt to secure consensus on the proposal, or to start an enhanced cooperation.

Germany: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER was elected as the new President, taking over from Joachim GAUCK. Mr STEIMEIER, who held the Foreign Minister role previously, will take up the largely ceremonial role on 19 March.

Romania: Minister for Justice, Florin IORDACHE tendered his resignation on Thursday 9 February amid  the growing scandal on decriminalising corruption offences. On Wednesday 8 February the government survived a censure motion, tabled by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Save Romania Union (USR).


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


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