Movers and Shakers | 15 October 2018

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

15 Oct 2018

Today’s Movers and Shakers are about: the launch of the #MeToo EP blog, Frans TIMMERMANS’ campaign to become the Socialist candidate for the Commission’s President, Latest appointments in the European Commission and public affairs, the elections in Luxembourg, Brexit and more.


European Parliament:

Composition of the committees and the delegations:
Committee on Foreign affairs (AFET):
Anders SELLSTRÖM (EPP, SE) joined as member.

Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN): Anders SELLSTRÖM (EPP, SE) joined as substitute.

Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI): Anders SELLSTRÖM (EPP, SE) joined as member.

Delegation for relations with Afghanistan (D-AF): Anders SELLSTRÖM (EPP, SE) joined as member.

Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo (D-SEE): Anders SELLSTRÖM (EPP, SE) joined as substitute.

Latest news from the Parliament:
#MeToo EP:
On 9 October a group of European Parliament workers officially launched the “MeTooEP” blog to give voice to victims of sexual harassment and abuse.  During a press conference, parliamentary assistants highlighted that there is lack of protection for victims and apparent reluctance of alleged victims to come forward.


European elections:

Spitzenkandidat hopefuls:
European Commission First Vice-President in charge of better regulation, interinstitutional relations, the rule of law and the charter of fundamental rights, Frans TIMMERMANS launched his campaign to become the PES candidate for President of the European Commission.

The deadline for EPP members to submit their candidacy ends on 17 October, while on 19 October the PES will announce its nominees. Did you miss our pre-elections timeline? Download it here.

BONO does European elections?
Irish rock star BONO visited Brussels on 10 October, where he met with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio TAJANI.  BONO said his love of the European Union would cause him to consider taking on a “high-profile” role in the upcoming European Parliament election campaign. The front singer of the popular Irish rock band U2, also discussed African development issues


Interview with Iskra MIHAYLOVA:

Bulgarian ALDE group member and chair of the committee on regional development Iskra MIHAYLOVA spoke to the Parliament Magazine about the challenges the EU is facing and why this year’s edition of European Week of Regions and Cities is an ideal opportunity to come together to discuss common challenges and to identify possible solutions. Read the interview.


European Commission:

Commissioners’ cabinets:
Cabinet of Neven MIMICA:
Denis ČAJO was promoted from member to deputy head of cabinet, replacing Irena ANDRASSY. His new responsibilities include trade, climate action, sustainable energy and interinstitutional relations. 

Vesna LONČARIĆ joined the team as member. Among other things, she is responsible for culture, health, nuclear safety and security.

Budget (BUDG):

Directorate A – Expenditure: Johan UREEL has been appointed as Director after a period of acting in the role. Lenka FILÍPKOVÁ has become the acting Head of Unit for Budgetary Procedures and Execution; UREEL’s previous role.

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Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EMPL):
Directorate C - Social Affairs: Katarina IVANKOVIC-KNEZEVIC has been appointed as Director, replacing Manuela GELENG who had been acting in the role. IVANKOVIC-KNEZEVIC moved to the Commission from the Croatian Civil Service.

Energy (ENER):
Christopher JONES has left his role as Hors Classe Adviser to the Directorate General.

Directorate C - Renewables, Research and Innovation, Energy Efficiency: Director Mechthild WÖRSDÖRFER has been seconded to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Adviser Hans VAN STEEN has become Acting Director.

Environment (ENV):
Sébastien PAQUOT has left his role as HR Business Correspondent to become a Member of Karmenu VELLA's Cabinet.

Directorate D - Natural Capital: Anne BURRILL has been appointed Adviser to the Director.

European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO):
Directorate B - Europe, Eastern Neighbourhood and Middle East: Henrike TRAUTMANN has been appointed Head of Unit for Emergency Support Inside EU, replacing Joe MURRAN.

Directorate C - Africa, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and Pacific: TRAUTMANN was previously Head of Unit for Policy Development and Regional Strategy II. Matthew KEYES is now acting in the role.

Health and Food Safety (SANTE):
Anne BUCHER is the new Director-General of the Directorate-General, replacing Xavier PRATS MONNÉ who has retired.

Directorate A - Resource management and better regulation: Giorgos GEORGIANNAKIS is the new Acting Head of Unit for Information Systems, replacing Herman BRAND.

Directorate F - Health and Food Audits and Analysis: Aidan O'CONNOR is the new Head of Unit for Country Knowledge and Work Programme replacing Stefan HÖNIG

Human Resources and Security (HR):
Antje COLLOWALD is the new Head of Unit for Management of HR Financial Transactions; Christina VLASSIS had been acting in the role.

Directorate D - Health and Wellbeing - Working Conditions: Octavian PURCAREA has been appointed Head of Unit for Medical Absences. Medical Adviser Micheline ADAM-GERARD had been acting in the role.

Directorate E - Legal Affairs and Partnerships: Dominique ENJOLRAS has been appointed Head of Unit for Ethics and Ombudsman, a role she had been acting in.

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW):
Directorate F - Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing: The KETs, Digital Manufacturing and Interoperability Unit has been disbanded.

International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO):
Directorate C - Planet and Prosperity: Jaime REIS CONDE is the new Head of Unit for Coordination of the EIP Secretariat and Blending Facilities; Deputy Head of Unit Torsten EWERBECK had been acting in the role.

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

Interpretation (SCIC):
Interpretation Department II: Verena SKERRA is the new Head of Unit for German Interpretation, replacing Carlota JOVANI.

Joint Research Centre (JRC):
Directorate R - Resources: Stéphanie LUTIQUE has been appointed Head of Unit for Safety and Security, replacing Rien Stroosnijder who had been acting in the role.

Translation (DGT):
Directorate D – Translation: Charles GROUTAGE is the new Head of the English-Language Department, leaving his previous role as Head of Task Force: Administrative Efficiency/Business Process Reengineering (BPR) in the Resources Directorate of DG BUDG vacant.

Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO):
The Principal Adviser for Task Force Northern Ireland and International Relations role, which had been held by Roland Hall, has been dispanded.


Public affairs:

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British Chamber of Commerce EU and Belgium: Tom PARKER, Cambre Associates Chairman and Chief Sales Officer at the SEC Group, was elected as President, succeeding Thomas SPILLER.

CEEMET - Council of European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-Based Industries: Diego ANDREIS and Ineke Dezentjé HAMMING - BLUEMINK were unanimously re-elected as President and Vice-President respectively for a second term of two years until 2020.

European Business Service Alliance (EBSA): Michael FREYTAG, Public Affairs Manager of the World Employment Confederation-Europe, was elected as new Vice-Chair.

European Engine Power Plants Association (EUGINE): Hermann KRÖGER, Senior Vice-President at MAN Energy Solutions, was elected as new President. He took over from Kari HIETANEN, who will continue to serve as Vice-President of the association, together with Dan SUNDELL.

Relaunched: Nouryon – The former AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals was earlier this month relaunched under the new name Nouryon. Headquartered in Amsterdam, with 10.000 employees and operating in about 80 countries, Nouryon is a global leader in specialty chemicals and has long been an industry leader in sustainable growth. Marcel HALMA will continue to lead the global public affairs and governments relations for the new company and will be the head of Nouryon’s EU representation. You can follow Nouryon’s EU public affairs team also on twitter @NouryonEU

World Animal Protection:  started its EU Representation this week. David GARRAHY was appointed as External Affairs Advisor. The main areas of the Representation’s work will include the EU Animal Welfare Strategy, International trade related to animals, Sustainable Development, and the implementation of Regulations and Directives on farmed animals, companion animals, wild animals (particularly on trade and captivity), use of animals in scientific research and working animals. Brexit and its effect on animals will also be a growing focus.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit:  On 9 October, the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene FOSTER visited the European Parliament, where she warned EU and UK leaders that any Brexit deal involving “divergence” from the normal functioning of the UK’s internal market, such as a border between the mainland UK and Northern Ireland, - one of the UK’s four constituent countries - would be unacceptable and non-negotiable. Mrs FOSTER also met with Michel BARNIER to discuss the “backstop” arrangement.

Responding to worried Conservative MPs that the UK will be permanently be trapped in the customs union, Theresa MAY’s spokeswoman reassured that this will not be the case and that any backstop deal would be "temporary".

Scottish First Minister Nicola STURGEON confirmed that her Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs will back a vote for a second referendum on Brexit, if the issue comes to the Parliament, while she ruled out to vote in favour of a deal that does not include remaining in the Single Market. She also added that the “real solution for Scotland would be quitting the UK rather than blocking Brexit.”

On 10 October, EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER spoke at the Eurochambre’s closing session at the European Parliament and said that they are doing their best to reach an agreement on the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU. However, he said that the UK’s proposals to preserve an autonomous trade policy, and be able to negotiate its own agreements, while remaining in the EU’s customs area and to apply its own external tariffs while collecting European customs duties are not acceptable. Full speech here.

When asked to clarify what Michel BARNIER meant by “a deal is within reach” during a midday press briefing, European Commission Spokesperson Margaritis SCHINAS said that “Thursday 11 October, we are not there yet. There’s is no breakthrough yet. Intensive technical negotiations are continuing to see if we can reach decisive progress and it will not come as a surprise that we are working hard to reach a deal.”

Addressing the Committee of the Regions within the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities, European Commission President Jean-Claude JUNCKER appeared to mock UK Prime Minister Theresa MAY before her speech to last week's Tory conference, after he started dancing on stage. Brussels officials forced to deny that Mr JUNCKER meant any offence.

On Friday 12 October, Michel BARNIER visited Warsaw, where he met the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz MORAWIECKI and the Minister for European Affairs Konrad SZYMANSKI and discussed Brexit.

Ireland: Minister for communications, climate action and environment Denis NAUGHTEN resigned over a broadband controversy.

Luxembourg: The Democratic Party of Prime Minister Xavier BETTEL and its coalition partners, the Green Party and the Socialist Workers' Party won enough votes to stay in power, ensuring 31 out of the 60 seats in the elections held on Sunday 14 October. However, the Christian Social People's Party won 28 per cent of the votes.

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

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