Movers and Shakers | 14 February 2020


Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: Plenary week highlights, a spate of committee and delegation changes at Parliament, Committee of the Regions elect president and 1st vice-president, US Ambassador to the EU leaves their post, Irish election results and much more!


European Parliament

Political Groups

The party of former Italian Prime Minister Matteo RENZI, Italia Viva, has joined the Renew Europe group. The party’s MEP, Nicola DANTI will move from sitting with the Socialists and Democrats to the Renew group.

Committees and Delegations

Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (AGRI)
Thomas WAITZ (Greens/EFA) joins as a substitute.
Riho TERRAS (EPP, EE) joins as a substitute.

Budgets Committee (BUDG)
Andrey NOVAKOV (EPP, BG) joins as a member.
Silvia MODIG (GUE/NGL, FI) joins as a member.

Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO)
Markéta GREGOROVÁ (Greens/EFA, CZ) joins as substitute, replacing Margrete AUKEN (Greens/EFA, DK) who has left the committee.
Nikolaj VILLUMSEN (GUE-NGL, DK) joins as a substitute.

Development Committee (DEVE)
Alviina ALAMETSÄ (Greens/EFA, FI) joins as a substitute.

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON)
Kira Marie PETER-HANSEN (Greens/EFA, DK) moves from substitute to member.
Linea SØGAARD-LIDELL (RE, DK) joins as a substitute.

Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL)
Dominique BILDE (ID, FR) joins as a member.

Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI)
Petar VITANOV (S&D, BG) joins as a member.
Linea SØGAARD-LIDELL (RE, DK) joins as a member.
Ville NIINISTÖ (Greens/EFA, FI) joins moves from substitute to member.
Joëlle MÉLIN (ID, FR) moves from substitute to member.
Sarah WIENER (Greens/EFA) joins as a substitute.
Petra DE SUTTER (Greens/EFA) joins as a substitute.
Laura HUHTASAARI (ID, FI) joins as a substitute.
Pernille WEISS (EPP, DK) who was a substitute, leaves the committee.

Fisheries Committee (PECH)
Caroline ROOSE (Greens/EFA) moves from substitute to member.
Filip DE MAN (ID, BE) who was previously a member, leaves the committee.

Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET)
Thomas WAITZ (Greens/EFA) joins as a member.
Alviina ALAMETSÄ (Greens/EFA, FI) joins as a member.
Andrey KOVATCHEV (EPP, BG) joins as a substitute.

Human Rights Sub-committee (DROI)
Filip DE MAN (ID, BE) joins as a member.

Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE)
Tsvetelina PENKOVA (S&D, BG) joins as a member.
Romana JERKOVIĆ (S&D, HR) joins as a member.
Riho TERRAS (EPP, EE) joins as a member.

International Trade Committee (INTA)
Saskia BRICMONT (Greens/EFA, BE) who was a substitute, becomes as a member.
Margrete AUKEN (Greens/EFA, DK) joins as a substitute.
Laura HUHTASAARI (ID, FI) who was previously a substitute, has left the committee.

Petitions Committee (PETI)
Thomas WAITZ (Greens/EFA) joins as a member.

Security and Defence Sub-committee (SEDE)
Alexandr VONDRA (ECR, CZ) joins as a member.
Thomas WAITZ (Greens/EFA) joins as a substitute.
Alviina ALAMETSÄ (Greens/EFA, FI) joins as a substitute.

Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN).
Alviina ALAMETSÄ (Greens/EFA, FI) joins as a substitute.

Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM)
Kira Marie PETER-HANSEN (Greens/EFA, DK) joins as a substitute.

For a complete list of all Committee and Delegation appointments following last week’s Committee meetings, visit

Plenary highlights

Parliament has received a request from the Spanish authorities to waive the immunity of Catalan MEP Clara PONSATI (NI, ES). PONSATI is accused of sedition in Spain over her role in Catalonia’s 2017 independence referendum.

On Wednesday, the Parliament voted on the negotiating mandate for the future EU-UK relationship in the upcoming partnership talks with the UK. With 543 votes to 39, MEPs adopted a resolution which pushes for as deep an association as possible with the UK based on three main pillars: an economic partnership, a foreign affairs partnership and specific sectoral issues.

On the same day, MEPs voted on the EU’s free trade and investment protection agreements with Vietnam. The deal aims to eliminate 99 percent of tariffs and was welcomed with 401 votes in favour, 192 against and 40 abstentions.

On Thursday, Parliament agreed that EU should make a stronger commitment to empowering women and ensuring gender quality.

In light of rapid developments in the field of aritifical intelligence, Parliament has called for a strong set of rights to protect consumers as automated decision-making becomes more prevalent.

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EU Institutions and Agencies

Committee of the Regions

During the Committee’s first sitting of the new five-year mandate, Apostolos TZITZIKOSTAS (EPP, EL) was elected president. TZITZIKOSTAS, who will lead the Committee of the Regions for the next two and a half years, is the Governorof Central Macedonia. Vasco CORDEIRO (PES, PT) was elected 1st vice-president. CORDEIRO is President of the Regional Government of the Azores and has been a member of the Committee of the Regions since 2013.

On Thursday, Michael MURPHY (EPP, IE) was elected Economic Policy Commission Chair.

Juan ESPADAS CEJAS (PES, ES) was elected Environment, Climate Change and Energy Chair.

Anne KARJALAINEN (PES, FI) was elected Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture Commission Chair.

Mark SPEICH (EPP, DE) was elected Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs Commission Chair.

Isabelle BOUDINEAU (PES, FR) was elected Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget Commission Chair.

Ulrika LANDERGREN (RE, SE) was elected Natural Resources Commission Chair.

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

Missions to the EU

Gordon SONDLAND has left his post as US ambassador to the EU after he was dismissed from the role by US president Donald TRUMP. Mark LIBBY will fill the position temporarily as chargé d’affaires.

Public Affairs

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National News

This week Annegret Kramp-KARRENBAUER announced she is stepping down as the chief of Germany’s Christian Democrats, KARRENBAUER will no longer be the CDU’s candidate to replace Angela MERKEL as Chancellor. She stays on as Minister for Defence.

Following Ireland’s general election on Saturday, Sinn Féin (GUE/NGL) won 24.5 per cent of all first preferential votes, becoming Ireland’s largest party. Fianna Fail (Renew) won 22.2 per cent, and Prime Minister Leo VARADKAR’s Fine Gael (EPP) won 20.9 per cent of the vote. No party obtained a majority, Sinn Féin will look to form a coalition. Prior to the election, the leaders of both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael ruled out a coalition with Sinn Féin, over their stance on policies such as the economy.

Last week President Klaus IOHANNIS tasked Ludovic ORBAN with forming a new cabinet, following the successful vote of no confidence against ORBAN’s National Liberal Party minority government. This week ORBAN proposed the same cabinet.

Read the most recent articles written by Mia Bartoloni and Megan MacDougall - Movers and Shakers | 9 April 2020

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