Movers and Shakers | 14 March 2016

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

14 Mar 2016

European Parliament:

Members of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
Eleni THEOCHAROUS (ECR, CY) left the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and switched from substitute of the Committee on Development (DEVE) to member.

Karol KARSKI (ECR, PL) left the Committee on Development (DEVE) and joined the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET).

Morten LØKKEGAARD (ALDE, DK) joined the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and the Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (D-ASE).

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Substitutes of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
Eleni THEOCHAROUS (ECR, CY) left the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (D-ACP).

Dita CHARANZOVÁ (ALDE, CZ) joined the Delegation to the EU-Chile Joint Parliamentary Committee (D-CL).

Tamás MESZERICS (Greens/EFA, HU) joined the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE).

Janice ATKINSON (ENF, UK) joined the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (D-ACP).

Special Committees:
Special Committee on tax rulings and other measures similar in nature of effect (TAXE II):
Parliament approved the proposal of the Conference of Presidents to extend the term of office of TAXE II until 2 August 2016.

Political groups:
S&D: The Group’s President, Gianni PITTELLA (IT) will lead a delegation of MEPs in London on Monday 14 March to meet with UK Labour politicians, Trade Union representatives and leaders of the Britain Stronger In and Labour In campaigns. Tanja FAJON (SI), Maria JOÃO RODRIGUES (PT), Isabelle THOMAS (FR), Kathleen VAN BREMPT (BE), Josef WEIDENHOLZER (AT), Péter NIEDERMÜLLER (HU) and Glenis WILLMOTT (UK) will accompany PITTELLA and will discuss the upcoming EU referendum and other EU related issues.

ECR: London MEP and leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, Syed KAMALL (UK) announced his decision to vote to leave the EU in the upcoming EU referendum on 23 June. One of his arguments was immigration. “I want to see an immigration policy that is balanced and fair - where we treat everyone outside the UK equally whether they are from an EU country or not. Sadly, a fair immigration system is incompatible with our membership of the EU” he said. Read more.

Markus PRETZELL and Beatrix VON STORCH of the German right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party have been asked to leave the group following controversial comments suggesting that guns should be used to stop refugees illegally crossing the border into Germany. PRETZELL and VON STORCH have now until 31 March to voluntarily leave the group. In case they don’t comply the group will hold a vote on 12 April to decide on whether or not to expel them.

Eleni THEOCHAROUS (CY) defected from the EPP and joined the ECR, joining as well its Bureau. Following this development, the ECR group raises the number of the member states it is comprised of to 18. The current seat breakdown of the Parliament is as follows:

Gerben-Jan GERBRANDY (ALDE, NL) and Pablo ZALBA BIDEGAIN (EPP, ES) were appointed as co-rapporteurs of the Committee of inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS).


European Commission:

Team of Günther OETTINGER:
Eric MAMER left his position as Deputy Head of cabinet (see below).

Directorates General:
Eurostat (ESTAT):

Directorate C – National Prices and Key Indicators: Ales CAPEK (previously Head of Task Force MIP – Directorate D) became the new Head of Integrated global accounts and Balance of Payments.
Directorate F – Social Statistics: Jean-Louis MERCY (previously Head of Quality Life) became the new Head of Social statistics - Modernisation and Coordination Unit, replacing Adam WRONSKI (acting).Didier DUPRE became the new Head of Income and Living Conditions: Quality of Life.  

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW):
Directorate A – Competitiveness and European Semester: Eric MAMER (previously Deputy Head of Günther OETTINGER’s cabinet) appointed as Director, replacing Stephane LEBRUN (acting).
Directorate F – Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing: Sławomir TOKARSKI who was previously acting Director appointed Director. Mark NICKLAS became the new Head of Innovation policy and Investment for Growth, replacing Sławomir TOKARSKI.

Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO):
Directorate C – Audit: Claude TOURNIER became the new Head of Audit II Unit, replacing Benoît ENTZMINGER (acting).

Translation (DGT):
Directorate D – Translation: Adviser (Quality Management) position became vacant following the departure of Georgios HANIOTAKIS.  Josefine OBERHAUSEN became Head, German Language Department, replacing Myriam LAURENT-GATZ who was Acting Head. Klaus AHREND moved from Directorate R – Head of Unit, Human Resources to become Head, English Language Department, replacing Martin TURLEY who was Acting Head.

Directorate R – Resources: Dirk MEERT became Acting Head of Unit, Human Resources, replacing Klaus AHREND who has moved to Directorate D – Translation as Head, English Language Department.

Secretariat-General (SG):
Directorate R – Resources: Henrick KERSTING became Acting Head of Unit, Human and Financial Resources, replacing Gianmarco DI VITA.

Directorarte D – Policy Co-ordination I: Jean-Eric PAQUET became Acting Director, replacing Sabine WEYAND.

Spokesperson’s Service:
Education, Youth, Sport and Culture and Research, Science and Innovation: Axel FOUGNER became Acting Press Officer, replacing Mirna TALKO.  


European Agencies:

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA): Fausto PARENTE was confirmed by the European Parliament as the new Executive Director for a five-year term. He will succeed Carlos MONTALVO as of 1 April.


Public affairs:

European Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (EGA): became “Medicines for Europe Better access. Better health”.


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News in a nutshell:


Ireland: The Irish parliament failed to appoint a new Prime Minister as none of the nominees secured enough votes.  Enda KENNY, Fine Gael (EPP) tendered his resignation as Prime Minister but will remain in the position in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed.

Lithuania: Juras POŽELA was appointed as the new Health Minister following the resignation of Rimantė ŠALAŠEVIČIŪTĖ in February

Slovakia: The party of Prime Minister Robert FICO, Direction – Social Democracy (S&D) won most of the seats in the elections held on 5 March but lost its parliamentary majority. President Andrej KISKA asked FICO to try to form a government by 18 March. The far-right People's Party-Our Slovakia group led by Marian KOTLEBA, took eight percent of the votes and entered the parliament for first time.

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

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