Movers and Shakers | 19 February 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)

19 Feb 2021

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: The latest Parliament committee changes, Slovak MEP quits her national party, Charles Michel’s new chief foreign policy adviser, the cabinet of newly appointed Italian PM Mario Draghi, the latest Commission, public affairs appointments, and more!

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European Parliament

Committees and Delegations

Estrella Durá Ferrandis (S&D, ES) leaves the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (AGRI) and joins Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI).
Aurore Lalucq (S&D, FR) leaves the International Trade Committee (INTA) and joins the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL).
Cristina Maestre Martín de Almagro (S&D, ES) leaves the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) and joins the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (AGRI).
Piernicola Pedicini (Greens/EFA, IT) joins the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) replacing Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL).
Jérôme Rivière (ID, FR) joins the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) replacing Hélène Laporte (ID, FR).
Massimiliano Smeriglio (S&D, IT) joins the International Trade Committee (INTA).

National Parties
Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (ECR, SK) has left her national party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) of which she is a founding member. Her decision comes after a press conference in which she criticized Slovak minister for investments Veronika Remišová and her handling of EU funds. Nicholsonová alleged that Remišová had lost Slovakia one billion euro of EU funds. She will continue to sit in Parliament as an independent.

European Commission

Commissioner cabinets
Olai Voionmaa joins the team of Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen from the EU delegation to Niger where he was head of the political, press and information section.

Iwona Piorko joins the cabinet of Executive Vice-president and Commissioner for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager and will be responsible for industrial policy & SME strategy, trade, internal market, 5G, space policy and E-government. She replaces Nele Eichhorn who has moved to DG Trade.

Directorates-General and Services

European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
Bernadette Frederick replaces Chiara Gariazzo as director of directorate E (General Affairs) in an acting capacity.

Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA)
Paulina Dejmek Hack replaces Almorò Rubin de Cervin as director of directorate A (General Affairs). Rubin de Cervin had been performing the role in an acting capacity.

Health and Food Safety (SANTE)
Irene Sacristan Sanchez becomes head of unit E3 (Biotechnology) filling a vacant position.

Justice and Consumers (JUST)
Massimo Serpieri replaces Jan Panek as head of unit E1 (Consumer policy).

Migration and Home Affairs (HOME)
Chiara Gariazzo replaces Beate Gminder as director of directorate E (Migration and Security Funds; Financial Resources). Gminder had been occupying the role in an acting capacity.

Other EU Institutions and Agencies

European Council
Simon Mordue, is set to join the cabinet of president Charles Michel as chief foreign policy adviser starting in April. Mordue, the EU’s ambassador to Kenya, will succeed Maryem van den Heuvel who was recently appointed director-general for External Relations (RELEX) in the Council’s secretariat-general.

European External Action Service (EEAS)
Olivier Bailly has been appointed head of the task force on ‘vaccine strategy’. Bailly, who is Pierre Moscovici’s former head of Cabinet will leave the Commission after 20 years.

Public Affairs

Deutsche Bank
Former editor of Handelsblatt Sven Afhüppe has been appointed as global head of political affairs, which includes responsibility for lobbying Brussels. Afhüppe takes up the role as of 1 March.

European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO)
Eleni Despotou has been appointed as secretary-general replacing Angelika Christ who had held the post since 2007 and is retiring. Despotou was previously secretary-general of the European Lime Industry Association.

Eva-Maria Kirschsieper has been appointed to the newly created role of public policy director for sustainability, EMEA, and will commence the role at the end of this month.

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National News

The new government of former ECB chief Mario Draghi, was sworn in on Saturday. The cabinet is made up of 23 ministers, 15 of whom are men and eight women. It is a broad coalition, built from politicians from nearly all Italian parties and seven technocrats. The government also features a new ministry for ecological transition. Key ministers in the new cabinet include:

Foreign affairs minister - Luigi Di Maio (M5S)
Finance minister - Daniele Franco (Ind)
Interior minister -  Luciana Lamorgese (Ind)
Economic Development Minister - Giancarlo Giorgetti (Lega)
Justice minister – Marta Cartabia (Ind)
Health minister – Roberto Speranza (Art. 1)
Ecological transition minister - Roberto Cingolani (Ind)

Draghi has now secured the confidence of the both the Senate and the lower Chamber of Deputies.

For a comprehensive breakdown of the new Italian government, please visit

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