Movers and Shakers | 17 September 2018

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

17 Sep 2018

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: Dods elections package, the MEP Awards nominations, the new MEPs, latest appointments in the European Commission, the External Action Service and public affairs, the new German Permanent Representative, ministerial changes in Greece, Estonia, Czech Republic, France, Brexit and more.

Scroll down for important announcements.


European Parliament: 

Composition of the Parliament:
Viviane REDING (EPP, LU) and Kaja KALLAS (ALDE, EE) left their seats in the Parliament on 1 and 5 September respectively. Christopher HANSEN and Igor GRÄZIN replaced them.

Burkhard BALZ (EPP, DE), who has been an MEP since 2009, left his seat on 31 August. He was also EPP coordinator for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). Stefan GEHROLD is in line to succeed him.

Stay ahead of the game by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

Giovanni MICCICHÈ (EPP, IT) joined as member, replacing Salvatore DOMENICO, who became the new mayor of Catania. However, he left after just a month, and was replaced by Innocenzo LEONTINI.


Composition of the committees and delegations:
Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON):
Markus FERBER (EPP, DE) was appointed as EPP group coordinator, replacing his fellow colleague Burkhard BALZ.
Brian HAYES (EPP, IE) was elected as first Vice-Chair, replacing Markus FERBER (EPP, DE), who switched to member.
Daniel CASPARY (EPP, DE) joined as member.

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO):
Tilly METZ (Greens/EFA, LU) joined as substitute.

Special committee on terrorism (TERR):
Eva JOLY (Greens/EFA, FR) switched from substitute to member, replacing Franz ROMEO (Greens/EFA, DE).
Sven GIEGOLD (Greens/EFA, DE) joined as substitute.

Delegation to the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee (D-MK):
Dimitris PAPADIMOULIS (GUE/NGL, EL) joined as member, replacing Kostas CHRYSOGONOS (GUE/NGL, EL).

Delegation to the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (D-ME):
Milan ZVER (EPP, SI) joined as substitute, replacing Alojz PETERLE (EPP, SI).

Delegation for relations with Belarus (D-BY):
Clare MOODY (S&D, UK) joined as substitute.

Plenary highlights:
State of the Union:
Jean-Claude JUNCKER delivered his last state of the union speech as European Commission President before the European deputies. He outlined the impact of the Commission’s work in its 10 priority areas and what it intends to achieve in the run-up to the European elections in May. He also announced new initiatives to fight terrorism and money-laundering, plans for an improved refugee and immigration policy and proposals on changing how the EU conducts its external policy. On Brexit, he supported the idea of the UK being granted “free trade area” status with the EU. In his conclusion, he urged for the rejection of nationalism and called for patriotism. Full speech and related materials here. Read the reactions to the speech.

The Dods EU Monitoring team have created a sector by sector brief on what the Commission has prioritised for the next eight months. Download the document here.

Rule of law in Hungary: MEPs voted by a large majority the report by Judith SARGETINI (Greens/EFA, NL) calling for EU action against alleged rights abuses in Hungary. The vote, which was backed by 448 votes to 197 could pave the way for a suspension of Hungary’s EU voting rights.

Future of Europe debate: Greek Prime Minister Alexis TSIPRAS addressed the Parliament to discuss the future of Europe. During his speech, TSIPRAS urged member states to “turn away” from what he sees as a growing trend in “nationalist” tendencies, both in Europe and further afield.

Speech by the Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM): Zoran ZAEV addressed MEPs and told them his country is ready to start negotiations on EU accession. He also said he was optimistic about his countrymen backing a controversial name change for Macedonia in the referendum which will take place in the end of September.

Copyrights reform: MEPs approved controversial EU copyright reform, which includes a proposal for a publishers’ neighbouring right. The vote was approved by 438 votes to 226, with 39 abstentions. Axel VOSS (EPP, DE) is Parliament’s rapporteur on the report.


Dods European elections package:

With the European Parliament elections just around the corner, Dods has officially launched its comprehensive 2019 Elections Package. Dods EU Monitoring and Dods People EU have joined forces to provide you with the essential information you need to prepare for the coming changes on the Brussels political stage.

Visit our website to stay up to date with the latest developments. Follow us on twitter for news as they happen.


Latest interview with Richard CORBETT:

Veteran MEP and leader of Parliament's UK Labour party grouping Richard CORBETT spoke to the Parliament Magazine about the state of the negotiations and why Brexit may not even happen. Read the  interview.


Get to know:

Martina DLABAJOVÁ (CZ) is an entrepreneur and has been an ALDE group MEP since 2014. Find out more about her achievements and what inspires her in the Parliament Magazine's latest 5Qs.



Parliament Magazine events:

Rare Cancers Europe: 10 years of cooperation to improve care for cancer patients:

On Tuesday 25 September, Rare Cancers Europe is organising an event in the European Parliament to celebrate 10 years of active work in this field and to take stock of its achievements in addressing rare cancers as well as discussing the way forward in tackling the challenges that persist.

The event will highlight the EU milestones in addressing rare cancers and particularly the establishment of the Joint Action on Rare Cancers and of the European Reference Networks on cancer while presenting the role of Rare Cancers Europe in the process that lead to these achievements.

Speakers include:

  • Cristian-Silviu BUȘOI (EPP, RO)
  • Annika NOWAK, Member of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis ANDRIUKAITIS
  • Ortwin SCHULTE, Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the EU
  • Francesco DE LORENZO, Rare Cancers Europe & European Cancer Patient Coalition
  • Kathy OLIVER, Rare Cancers Europe & International Brain Tumour Alliance
  • Paolo G. CASALI, Rare Cancers Europe & Joint Action on Rare Cancers

The discussion will address the current challenges faced by the European Reference Networks and what more needs to be done to improve standards of care and reduce administrative barriers for patients crossing borders. Furthermore, specific attention will be given to addressing the problems of generating and exploiting evidence on rare cancers and the potential impact of the EU draft Regulation on health technology assessment (HTA) on improving treatment options for rare cancer patients while helping safeguard the sustainability of healthcare systems.

This event will also be an opportunity to discuss the European Commission’s upcoming report on the implementation of the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive and assess how countries across the EU have implemented its provisions and allowed patients to benefit from them. 

To register your interest, please contact: | +44 207 593 5560 | +44 207 593 5672



MEP Awards 2019:

Nominations to the MEP Awards 2019 are now open.
If you would like to recognise an MEP for their outstanding contribution to EU policy, visit the website to nominate them today. To see all categories click here


The effect of marine litter on fisheries and oceans:

The European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development” organised an event on “the effect of marine litter on fisheries and oceans” on 5 September at the European Parliament. The event was hosted by Ricardo SERRÃO SANTOS (S&D, PT), who welcomed the awareness raised on marine litter and highlighted that the efforts of the coastal communities towards this direction are of great importance. It brought together representatives from the civil society, NGOs and key policy-makers to discuss the European Commission proposals on ‘a new Directive on port reception facilities’ and the ‘reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment’  and possible ways of their implementation in the EU member states within the framework of the “European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy”

Read the report of the event.


European Commission:

Commissioners’ Cabinets: 
Cabinet of Carlos MOEDAS: Christiane KIRKETERP DE VIRON joined as member, replacing Manuel NOBRE GONÇALVEZ who was in charge of European Semester, Industrial Technologies and Transport, among other things. 
Cabinet of Marianne THYSSEN: Julie Anne FIONDA, who was on leave, left the team.
Cabinet of Maroš Šefčovič: Adam ROMANOWSKI joined as member, replacing Dagmara Maria KOSKA, who was in charge of Regulatory framework for post-2020 period, accelerating the clean energy transition, and competition policy, among other things.  



Agriculture (AGRI):
Directorate D – Sustainability and income support: Bence MAJOR was appointed acting head of greening, cross-compliance and POSEI, replacing Richard ETIEVANT. 

European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF): 
Directorate B – Investigations II: Salvatore CATANIA was appointed as head of tobacco and counterfeit goods, replacing Vincent SAUVALERE, who was acting in the role.  

Competition (COMP):  
State aid directorate-general: Current Director-General Johannes LAITENBERGER is also acting as deputy director-general, replacing Gert-Jan KOOPMAN who started this week his new role as director-general for budget (DG BUDG). 
Directorate D – Markets and cases III: Financial services: Astrid COUSIN was appointed as head of state aid: financial institutions II, replacing current director Maria VELENTZA, who was acting in the role. 

Communication (COMM):
Directorate C – communication with citizens: Johanna Maria PANNEBAKKER started her new role as head of citizens’ information, replacing Benjamin Paul HAGARD, who was acting in the role.  

Communications networks, content and technology (CONNECT): 
Directorate B – electronic communications networks and services: Stefan LECHLER started his new role as acting head of electronic communications policy, replacing Vesa TERÄVÄ.  Directorate D – policy strategy and outreach: Previous head of electronic communications policy Vesa TERÄVÄ was appointed head of research strategy and programme coordination, replacing Eric BADIQUÉ, who was acting on the role.  

Climate Action (CLIMA): 
Directorate C – climate strategy, governance and emissions from non-trading sectors: Christian HOLZLEITNER started his new role as head of land use and finance for innovation, replacing Roman DOUBRAVA, who was acting in the role.  

Competition (COMP):
Julia BROCKHOFF was appointed as HR business correspondent, replacing Benjamin DESURMONT.  

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN): 
Carlos MARTINEZ MONGAY was appointed as acting deputy director-general, replacing Servaas DEROOSE. 
Directorate E – economies of the member states III: Former Italy, Malta and Poland (E1) changed its name to Czech Republic, Malta, Poland, Slovakia. Former head of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Unitex Kingdom (G3) Ana XAVIER, was appointed as head of E1, replacing Niall BOHAN.
Directorate G – economies of the member states II: Previous Czech Republic, Slovakia and Unites Kingdom (G3) changed its name to Italy, United Kingdome. Alienor DUVILLET-MARGERIT was appointed as head, replacing Ana XAVIER. 
Directorate L – treasury and financial operations: Former head of Italy, Malta and Poland Niall BOHAN started his new role as head of stability mechanisms and legal affairs, replacing Alienor DUVILLET-MARGERIT.  

Energy (ENER):  
Eero AILIO was appointed as new adviser as of September, reporting directly to the director of internal energy market, Klaus-Dieter BORCHARDT.

Health and Food Safety (SANTE): 
Current chair of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, Anne BUCHER, was appointed as new Director-General as of 1 October. She will replace Xavier PRATS MONNÉ, who will retire at the end of September.
Directorate B – Health systems, medical products and innovation: Ioana-Maria GLIGOR started her new role as head of European reference networks and digital health, replacing Tapani PIHA. 

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW): 
Directorate E – modernization of the Single Market: Damir HAJDUK was appointed head of business-to-business services, replacing Michael KOENIG, who was acting in the role.

International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO): 
Sylvie MILLOT-WATHIER started her new role as head of overseas countries and territories, replacing Catherine METDEPENNINGEN, who was acting in the role.
Directorate C – planet and prosperity: Carla MONTESI started her new role as director, replacing Leonard Mizzi, who was acting in the role.  
Directorate D – EU-Africa relations, East and Southern Africa: Michael PENNINGTON was appointed as head of Southern Africa, Indian Ocean, replacing Jobst VON KIRCHMANN.
Directorate E – West and Central Africa: Didier VERSE started his new role as acting director, replacing Carla MONTESI. 
Directorate R – Resources: Pavel BORKOVEC was appointed head of information technology, document management, replacing Fernando CENTURIONE. 

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MARE): 
Directorate C – Fisheries policy, Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic Sea, and outermost regions: Viktoria VARGA LENCSES started her new role as head of Structural support, replacing Isabelle GARZON.  

Migration and Home Affairs (HOME): 
Directorate C – Migration and protection: Henrik NIELSEN was appointed as acting director, replacing Laurent MUSCHEL. 
Directorate D – Security:  Laurent MUSCHEL started his new role as director, replacing Luigi SORECA. 

Research and Innovation (RTD): 
Directorate A – policy development and coordination: Liviu STIRBAT started his new role as acting head of better regulation, replacing Maria OLIVAN AVILES.
Directorate E – Health: Anna LONNROTH started her new role as head of strategy, replacing Corneluis SCHMALTZ, who was appointed head of fighting infections, diseases and advancing public health. Former head of fighting infections, diseases and advancing public health Barbara KERSTIENS was appointed as head of non-communicable diseases and the challenge of healthy ageing, replacing Karim BERKOUK, who was acting in the role.
Directorate I – climate action and resource efficiency: John BELL was appointed as director, replacing Jack METTHEY. Christos FRAGAKIS started his new role as acting head of sustainable management of natural resources, replacing Birgit DE BOISSEZON. 

Secretariat-General (SG): 
Directorate R – Resources: Benjamin DESURMONT started his new role as head of HR business correspondent, finance, corporate, replacing Tatjana VERRIER, who was acting in the role. 
Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS): Ioannis HADJIYIANNIS was appointed head of the Athens office, replacing Frank VAN DRIESSCHE, who was acting in the role.  

Translation (DGT): 
Directorate D – Translation: Valeria DARO started her new role as director, replacing Gurli HAUSCHILDT. 
Charles GROUTAGE was appointed as head of English language, replacing Martin TURLEY, who was acting in the role. 
Directorate R – Resources: Head of informatics, Dieter RUMMEL started his new role as acting director replacing Piet VERLEYSEN. 
Directorate S – Customer relations: Marcus ANGIONI was appointed as acting head of demand management, replacing Valeria DARO.  

Trade (TRADE): 
Directorate C – Asia and Latin America: Previous deputy director-general Helena KONIG started her new role as director. 
Directorate D – sustainable development; economic partnership agreements, Africa-Caribbean and Pacific, agri-food and fisheries: Former deputy director-general Sandra GALLINA started her new role as director, replacing Ewa SYNOWIEC.  

Spokesperson’s Service: 
Planning and coordination: Maud NOYON started his new role as press officer for horizontal support and coordination. 
Mr NOYON was previously press officer for single market, industry, entrepreneurship and small business (SMEs), and research, science and innovation.  Mirna TALKO replaced him.
Climate action and energy: Lynn RIETDORF was appointed as press officer.  


European External Action Service (EEAS):

Sofie FROM-EMMESBERGER was appointed as the new Chair of the Political and Security Committee (PSC) and Vincenzo COPPOLA was appointed as the new EEAS Director for Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability/Civilian Operations Commander.


Permanent Representations:

Germany: Michael CLAUSS became the new Permanent Representative to the EU, replacing Reinhard Silberberg. Susanne SZECH-KOUNDOUROS was appointed as the new deputy Permanent Representative, taking over from Peter RÖSGEN.


Committee of the Regions (CoR):

EPP Group: Katie Owens left her role as press and communications officer to start a new role at the Directorate for Health and Food Safety at the European Commission.

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

European Court of Justice (ECJ):

Gerard Hogan (IE) was appointed as advocate-general as of 7 October for a period of six years.


European Defence Agency (EDA):

Head of the EDA Federica MOGHERINI appointed the following new chairs for EDA steering boards as of 1 December.
Luisa RICCARDI (IT) in R&T directors, Atanas ZAPRYANOV (BG) in national armaments directors, and Eric SCHEVENHOVEN (NL) in capability directors.  



Myroslava KRASNOBOROVA took up her role as Liaison Prosecutor for Ukraine on 18 August.


Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators:

Current Director of the agency, Alberto POTOTSCHNIG, will remain in his role on an interim basis beyond the end of his current mandate on 15 September 2018, until his successor is appointed.


Public affairs:

Atlantico: Emily REES stepped down from her role as Head of EU Affairs at Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Agency. She is joining ATLANTICO, the EU-LATAM public and government affairs agency, as Policy Partner alongside Guilherme ATHIA. Together with its partners in Latin America, Prospectiva and Bites, ATLANTICO offers investors, exporters and importers tailored services across both regions.

Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW): the new agency created from the merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe, announced a number of appointments. Nicholas LUNT joined the team on 10 September as Managing Director for Communications. LUNT previously spent a decade as managing director at Ogilvy & Mather in Brussels from 1993-2003, before moving to Baghdad as PR & communications adviser to the first elected Prime Ministers in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, followed by a year in Kabul where he was NATO’s civilian spokesman.  From 2009 he was based in Dubai, leading Middle East PR operations for M:Communications and then Instinctif Partners.

Bruno FIERENS joined the communications team as manager with responsibility for corporate communications and multi-market projects. He is returning to the agency, having previously spent five years with its Belgian market team. Most recently, he worked as a spokesperson for Recupel, a non-profit association responsible for the collection and recycling of electronic waste.
In more appointment news, Anne VAN HEIJST joined the BCW’s government relations team as a client executive focusing on competition, tax and technology. A Dutch national, she previously worked for the Bernard van Leer Foundation in the Hague and the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment unit of the European Parliament.
Last but not least, Dennis ABBOTT, current head of the Brussels communications team, becomes Managing Director for communications and media relations. A former national newspaper journalist, editor and European Commission spokesperson, Dennis has been a mainstay on the Brussels media scene for over 18 years.

EuropaBio: Joanna DUPONT-INGLIS was appointed as the new Secretary-General, replacing John BRENNAN. Prior to her appointments, she was EuropaBio’s industrial biotech director. Agnes BORG succeeded her in the role, while Bernard GRIMM was appointed as healthcare director. 

European Culture Foundation: Director, Katherine WATSON announced her retirement as on 1 January 2019. André WILKENS will succeed her in the role on 15 November.

European Travel and Technology Services Association (ETTSA): Emmanuel MOUNIER was appointed as the new Secretary General, replacing Christoph KLENNER, as of 3 September. Prior to his appointment, Mr MOUNIER was attaché for industrial affairs at the French Permanent Representation to the EU.

FACE - the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation: Torbjörn LARSSON was elected president, succeeding Michl EBNER in the helm of the organisation. FACE also appointed a new board.

FTI Consulting: bolstered its public affairs practice in Brussels with the appointment of sustainability expert Martin PORTER as senior advisor. Prior to his appointment, Dr PORTER was Europe Group Coordinator for the European Climate Foundation in Brussels, where he was its main EU affairs representative and oversaw the Brussels/EU dimension for its energy, buildings, transport, industry and governance programmes.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: Speaking at a conference in Slovenia on 10 September, EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER said that it is “realistic” for the UK and Brussels to strike a deal within the next six to eight weeks. However, on Friday 14 September he tweeted, he said that substantive differences remain on the protocol for Ireland and Northern Ireland, governance and geographical indications while discussions are continuing to find a common ground on the future relationship. Earlier this week, BARNIER met with Irish EPP group MEPs Sean KELLY (EPP), Brian HAYES and Mairead MCGUINNESS and updated them on the Brexit negotiations.

A number of documents were published recently by both the EU and the UK side. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) published a notice to stakeholders in the field of added value tax. The UK Government has published guidance on how to prepare for Brexit if there is no deal. The document includes EU-funded programmes, driving, farming, handling civil legal cases, importing and exporting, labelling, business regulations, money and tax, data protection and consumer rights, environmental protection, energy regulation, medicines and medical equipment, satellites and space, seafaring, state aid, studying in the UK and the EU, travelling between the UK and the EU and workplace rights. Read PoliticsHome’s summary.

In other news, Mark CARNEY will stay on as governor of the Bank of England throughout Brexit, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip HAMMOND announced.

Czech Republic: Jana MALÁČOVÁ was appointed as the new minister for labour and social affairs, following the resignation of Petr KRCAL over a plagiarism scandal. 

Estonia: Urve PALO resigned from the Social Democratic Party and from her role as minister of entrepreneurship and information technology. Rene TAMMIST replaced her.

France: Environment minister Nicolas HULOT announced his resignation during a radio interview. He explained that he was disappointed and frustrated with the policy progress and was feeling “alone” in the government. François DE RUGY replaced him.

Greece: Following the deadly wildfires in Athens, minister for public order, Nikos TOSKAS resigned, and the government was reshuffled shortly after this. Olga GEROVASILI replaced him.

Slovenia: The new minority coalition government under Marjan ŠAREC was sworn in on Thursday 13 September, following an inconclusive election in June. The new cabinet is comprised of the List of Marjan Sarec party (LMŠ), the Social Democrats (SD), the Party of the Modern Centre (SMC), the Party of Alenka Bratusek (SAB) and the Democratic Party of Pensioners (Desus). Andrej BERTONCELJ was appointed as minister for finance and former prime minister Miro CERAR, as minister for foreign affairs.

Sweden: The general election that was held on Sunday 9 September was inconclusive as the centre-right and the centre-left were neck and neck and none ensured a majority. The nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD) made main gains, garnering the 18 per cent of the votes.


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


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