Movers and Shakers | 16 April 2021

Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our Movers and Shakers column.

By Mia Bartoloni

Mia Bartoloni is the Editor of Dods People EU and the European Public Affairs Directory (EPAD)

16 Apr 2021

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: Meet the two new Dutch MEPs, PECH and CONT committees elect new vice-chairs, the new deputy director-general at DG ENER, the first in our ‘German Election 2021’ series begins, three Member State health ministers leave their positions, the latest Commission, public affairs appointments, and more!

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European Parliament

The Parliament welcomes two new Dutch MEPs, Michiel Hoogeveen (ECR, NL) and Thijs Reuten (S&D, NL). Hoogeven and Reuten replace Derk Jan Eppink and Kati Piri respectively after the latter took on roles in the newly elected Dutch government at the beginning of the month.

A former risk consultant with KPMG, Hoogeveen has most recently acquired experience in the Parliament through his work as policy adviser and press officer in the offices of MEPs Derk Jan Eppink, Rob Roos and Rob Rooken (all ECR). Hoogeveen is also a member of States-Provincial for the JA21 party and in this capacity is a spokesperson for EU and international affairs as well as cultural heritage.

Thijs Reuten also brings with him extensive experience in EU affairs as a former political adviser to Frans Timmermans, the current vice-president of the European Commission, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague. From 2010 until 2018, Reuten was district alderman for housing and spatial planning with the City of Amsterdam. Reuten has said that his priorities in the Parliament will be foreign policy, justice and rule of law.

Committees and Delegations

Budgetary Control Committee (CONT)
Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, FI) has been elected fourth vice-chair. On his election, Sarvamaa has said that he looks forward to the opportunity to “make a wider impact on the correctness and efficiency of EU spending”, as citizens are becoming increasingly more critical of spending. He added that the billions in the recovery package must be spent on projects that boost economic growth and corona recovery. The Finnish MEP is also a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (AGRI) and the Budgets Committee (BUDG).

Fisheries Committee (PECH)
At the committee’s meeting on 12 April, Maria da Graça Carvalho (EPP, PT) was elected fourth vice-chair by acclamation, replacing Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (EPP, PT). On her election da Graça Carvalho acknowledged the challenges faced by the fisheries sector, in particular the need to implement policies that balance the long-term sustainability of the sea and marine resources with the preservation and enhancement of economic activities. She said that she would “fight for balanced solutions, based on scientific knowledge”. A full professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, da Graça Carvalho has over 30 years' experience in research in the areas of energy, climate change and science, technology and innovation policy. During her previous term in the Parliament (2009-14), da Graça Carvalho was responsible for the Specific Programme Implementing HORIZON 2020. In 2011, she received the Award best MEP in the area of Research and Innovation. More recently, as rapporteur for the strategic agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, a proposal was approved for the creation of an Innovation and Knowledge Community (KIC) dedicated to all topics related to water, including the sea.

European Commission

Commissioner Cabinets
Aleška Simkić, formerly head of the EU Delegation in Russia is the new head of cabinet for Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, she replaces Matjaž Malgaj.

Fernando Andresen Guimaraes, adjunct professor for European and Global Diplomacy at Vesalius College and former head of policy coordination at the European External Action Service (EEAS), has joined the cabinet of president Ursula von der Leyen as diplomatic adviser.

Florentine Hopmeier has also joined von der Leyen’s team as member of the cabinet for recovery and resilience and will be responsible for the Recovery and Resilience Facility and European Semester.

The final new addition to the von der Leyen cabinet is Eva Schultz, who has begun her new role as policy coordinator for the head of cabinet, replacing Sonia Vila-Nunez. She will be responsible for analytical support and briefings for the head of cabinet and coordination of policy priorities. Prior to this role, Schultz worked with the Swedish Permanent Representative to the EU and Justice and Home Affairs Counsellor.

Directorates-General and Services

Energy (ENER)
Mechthild Wörsdörfer has been appointed deputy director-general in charge of the coordination of the just and clean energy transition, and international affairs, as part of the European Green Deal. Wörsdörfer has over 26 years’ experience in the Commission, most recently serving as Director for Just Transition, Consumers, Energy Efficiency and Innovation at DG ENER between 2017-18. Since 2018, she has been Director for ‘Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks' at the International Energy Agency in Paris. The date of effect of the appointment is yet to be determined.

European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
Jean-Philippe Lienard has left his role as adviser for the Knowledge Centre in directorate C (Anti-Fraud Knowledge Centre) leaving a vacant position.

Informatics (DIGIT)
Pierre Charlier replaces Antje Ewertz as head of unit A2 (Budget and Finance) in an acting capacity.

Spokesperson’s Service (SPP)
Alvaro Rangel Hernandez is the new press officer for trade replacing Sophie Dirven. A former stagiaire in the service, Rangel is a College of Europe alumnus where he studied European Political and Governance studies. Prior to joining the SPP, Rangel was careers and conferences coordinator in the European Commission’s Trainees’ Committee.

Public Affairs

Specialised Nutrition Europe
Estrella Bengio has been named interim executive director.

UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe
Inês Rebelo has been named as new communications manager. Rebelo previously worked at Airports Council International Europe.

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German Election 2021 - stay informed about candidates and more!

Germany’s federal election on 26 September will mark the end of an era and a new beginning for Europe’s biggest economy. Angela Merkel’s decision not to seek a fifth term means Germany will have a new chancellor for the first time in 16 years. Along with the change at the top, there are also big questions about the outlook for the governing so-called grand coalition made up of the Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union and the Social Democratic Party.

Coming up in the next edition of Movers and Shakers
Over the next weeks we will be profiling some of the most important names to look out for in the run up to the election. Next week in the spotlight will be finance minister and Social Democratic candidate Olaf Scholz who was announced and confirmed by the Social Democratic Party executive in August last year.

Sign up now to receive the full election package
Should you wish to keep abreast of all developments over the coming months, now is the time to sign up for Dods comprehensive 2021 German Election Package which will be launched on 19 April. The service informs and helps public affairs teams design their communications strategies in the run up to and after the elections until the new Federal Government has been appointed.

Click here to view your free copy of the Guide to the Federal Election.

For more information, please contact Sandra Fernandez at or call on 0044 207 593 5545.

National News

Health minister Rudolph Anschober resigned on Tuesday citing overwork and exhaustion as reasons for his decision. Anschober, who has been health minister since January last year, will be replaced by Wolfgang Mückstein. Mückstein is a general practitioner and member of the Vienna doctors' association.

Czech Republic
The Czech government is currently in a state of flux after health minister Jan Blatný was replaced by Petr Arenberger last week, a move which was quickly followed by the removal of foreign minister Tomáš Petříček on Monday. The decision to remove Petříček was taken by deputy prime minister Jan Hamáček who was elected leader of the Czech Social Democrats on Monday. Petříček had run against Hamáček for the leadership of the party. The position of foreign minister is yet to be filled, however there are speculations that it could be Jakub Kulhánek, current deputy interior minister.
Simultaneously, the Czech Communist Party has withdrawn its support for the minority government which means that prime minister Andrej Babiš no longer has a parliamentary majority. With only 93 seats in the 200-seat chamber of deputies, a vote of no-confidence could lead to the fall of the government.

Prime minister Florin Cîțu has fired health minister Vlad Voiculescu over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leader of the USR-PLUS political alliance and deputy prime minister Dan Barna will serve as interim health minister until a successor is chosen.

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Read the most recent articles written by Mia Bartoloni - Movers and Shakers | 16 July 2021


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