Movers and Shakers | 19 June 2017

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

19 Jun 2017

Today's Movers & Shakers are about:  the incoming and outgoing MEPs, plenary's highlights, rapporteur's appointment in copyrights, appointments in the Task Force Article 50, latest appointments in public affairs, the new Maltese and Irish cabinets, the recent political developments in Finland and Romania, Brexit and more.


European Parliament:

Composition of the Parliament:

André ELISSEN (ENF, NL) joined the Parliament as member, replacing Vicky MAEIJER.

Therese CACHIA COMODINI (EPP, MT) will step down as MEP to take up her seat in the Maltese parliament, following the snap elections. Initially, she had announced that she would stay in Brussels, but then she decided to head back to Malta.

Roger HELMER (EFDD, UK) announced his retirement from the European Parliament as of 31 July, having served 18 years as an MEP. Jonathan BULLOCK will replace him. His resignation comes amid allegations over misuse of public funds.

Composition of the committees and delegations:

Patricia LALONDE (ALDE, FR) joined the delegation for relations with the United States (D-US).

Thierry CORNILLET (ALDE, FR) joined the delegation to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly (D-ACP).

Auke ZIJLSTRA (ENF, NL) joined the delegation for relations with Japan (D-JP).

Arne LIETZ (S&D, DE) left the subcommittee on human rights (DROI) and joined the subcommittee on security and defence (SEDE).

Knut FLECKENSTEIN (S&D, DE) left the subcommittee on security and defence (SEDE) and joined the subcommittee on human rights (DROI).

Joachim SCHUSTER (S&D, DE) joined the delegation to the Euronest parliamentary assembly (D-EPA).

Patricia LALONDE (ALDE, FR) joined the Delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee (D-MX), the delegation to the EU-Kazakhstan, EU-Kyrgyzstan, EU-Uzbekistan and EU-Tajikistan parliamentary cooperation committees and for relations with Turkmenistan and Mongolia (D-CAS) and the delegation to the Euro-Latin American parliamentary assembly (D-LAT).

Thierry CORNILLET (ALDE, FR) joined the delegation for relations with South Africa (D-ZA).

National delegations:
Michel REIMON and Monika VANA are taking over the leadership of the Austrian Greens delegation from Ulrike LUNACEK, who is running in the national elections.

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Axel VOSS (EPP, DE) will replace Theresa CACHIA COMODINI (EPP, MT) as rapporteur on the proposal for a directive on copyright in the digital single market.

New! Working Group on the revision of the list of expenses:
President Antonio TAJANI set up an ad-hoc Bureau working group to revise the existing rules and good practices of the list of expenses to be defrayed under the general expenditure allowance. The final list will be submitted to the Parliament’s Bureau in the end of the year.

The group is comprised of:
David-Maria SASSOLI (S&D, IT)

Ulrike LUNACEK (Greens/EFA, AT)
Vladimir MANKA (S&D, SK)

Plenary highlights:
End of roaming charges:
MEPs welcomed the end of roaming charges for citizens who are travelling within the EU and will as of now on be able to call, text and use data at the same price they pay at home.

Erasmus programme turns 30: MEPs celebrated the 30th anniversary of the popular EU programme among young people.  So far, nine million students have been given the chance to study in another EU member state, travel and meet other people.

Parliament’s building in Brussels: Parliament’s bureau met on 12 June to discuss the renovation of the Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) building. S&D group leader Gianni PITTELLA has called for further studies before any final decision is taken on the future of Parliament's building in Brussels. Read more

Energy efficiency labelling and repealing Directive: On Tuesday 13 June, MEPs and adopted the compromised text with the Council with 535 votes in favour and 46 against. The text was previously approved by COREPER and now after the adoption by the Parliament, the Council will adopt the text in first reading without amendments.

Panama Papers: Newly re-elected Prime Minister of Malta Joseph MUSCAT appeared before the MEPs in Strasbourg, where he faced criticism for his involvement in the scandal and the lack of cooperation between Maltese authorities and the Parliament’s PANA committee. Read more.

Waiver of immunity: MEPs voted to lift the parliamentary immunity of Marine LE PEN (ENF, FR), who has been accused of defamation.

Grenfel Tower tragedy: MEPs observed a minute’s silence for the victims of the Grenfel Tower fire.

Get to know:
Hilde VAUTMANS (ALDE, BE) in 5 questions.


European Commission:

Task Force Article 50: Uku SÄREKANNO joined the task force as the seconded national expert representing the Estonian Presidency.

Finance for innovation: On 12 June, the European Commission organised an event entitled Finance for Innovation: Towards the ETS Fund. Read Dods EU Monitoring briefing on the event.


Permanent Representations:

France: Alexis DUTERTRE, deputy permanent representative was appointed as Europe Adviser to Prime Minister Édouard PHILIPPE, effective 19 June.


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

Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO):

Francesco MATTINA, currently Head of the Legal Unit was appointed as Vice-President for a five-year term. The start date will be agreed between the President and the administrative council of the agency.


General Court:

Colm MAC EOCHAIDH (IE) became a judge at the General Court on 8 June for a term ending on 31 August 2019. He has joined the Ninth Chamber.


European Investment Bank (EIB):

Mickie SCHOCH (NL) was appointed as Member of the Board of Directors to succeed Irene JANSEN. She was formerly appointed on 6 June for a term expiring in 2018.

Kerstin JORNA was appointed as Member of the Board of Directors representing the European Commission as of 13 June. She replaced Gerassimos THOMAS.

Jan VAPAAVUORI (FI) resigned from his position as Vice-President and Member of the Management Committee on 8 June, following his election as Mayor of Helsinki. He will be replaced by former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander STUBB in August.


Public affairs:

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New name: The International Air Carrier Association (IACA) was renamed to Airlines International Representation in Europe (AIRE), effective 13 June.

ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International): Michael KERKLOH, President and CEO of Munich Airport was elected as President during the Annual Congress of the organisation on 14 June.

European Business and Innovation Centres Network (EBN): Javier ECHARRI was appointed as the new CEO as of 1 July.

European Cement Association (CEMBUREAU): Gonçalo SALAZAR LEITE was elected as the new President for a two-year mandate, taking over from Daniel GAUTHIER. Raoul de PARISOT was also elected as Vice President for the same period.

Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing (FEDMA): Chris Combemale was named as the new co-chair, replacing replaces Diana Janssen. He joined Sachiko Scheuing who was re-elected as co-chair. The new leadership will be focusing on key new laws of the industry as well as Brexit prospects.

GasNaturally: Marco ALVERA, Chief Executive Officer of Snam, was appointed as the first President.

Global Solar Council: Jodie ROUSSELL was selected as the new CEO effective 1 August.

Green Budget Europe: Eero YRJÖ-KOSKINEN was appointed as the new Executive Director, as of September. He will be working part-time for the first year and will be focusing on the re-organisation of the office, the expansion of its work and fundraising.

Industrial Minerals Association (IMA-Europe): Roger DOOME was appointed as acting Secretary General as of 1 June. He succeeded Didier JANS.

International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA): Ingrid Schwarzenberger, Head Global Regulatory Affairs at Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals was nominated as new chair of the Biosimilars committee.

Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union: Jesus AGUILAR SANTAMARIA was elected as PGEU President for 2018 during its General Assembly in London. Kristiina SEPP was also elected as Vice-President.

Visa: Pia SORVILLO joined Visa as the new head of European affairs. Prior to her appointment, was head of European affairs at PayPal, leading their government relations strategy.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: The first round of the negotiations starts on Monday 19 June. The start date of the negotiations was put into doubt, as the Conservative party is still to officially strike a deal with DUP.  The Queen’s speech, which was delayed will take place on Wednesday.
Baronesss ANELAY was appointed minister of state at the Department for Exiting the EU, replacing David JONES, while Steve BAKER joined the Department as parliamentary undersecretary of state.
Scottish First minister Nicola STURGEON wrote to Theresa MAY, urging her to drop the single market exit plans as such a move would harm the economy, jobs and growth in a long-term basis.

Croatia: Snap elections were avoided after the collapse of the coalition between the ruling HDZ and the centre-right MOST, as HDZ struck a new deal with the Croatian People’s Party (HNS) and reshuffled its government. Foreign minister Davor Ivo STIER resigned, following the formation of the new coalition. Marija PEJCINOVIC BURIC was appointed as the new foreign minister.

Czech Republic: Bohuslav SOBOTKA announced his resignation as chair of the Social Democratic Party, but he stays as prime minister until the general elections in October. Minister for the Interior Milan CHOVANEC took over the chairmanship of the party.

Estonia: A reshuffle saw minister of defence Margus TSAHKNA being replaced with Jüri LUIK, finance minister Sven SESTER being succeeded by Toomas TÕNISTE, Siim KIISLER taking over the ministry of environment from Marko POMERANTS and minister for public administration Mihhail KORB being replaced by Jaak AAB.

Ireland: Leo VARADKAR was elected as the new Taoiseach, replacing Enda KENNY. In the new cabinet, Paschal DONOHOE was appointed as the new finance minister, taking over from Michael NOONAN. Simon COVENEY replaced Charles FLANAGAN, as minister for foreign affairs and trade, while he will also oversee Brexit.

Finland: Prime Minister Juha SIPILÄ announced that there was no common ground with the Finns party, one of the junior coalition partners following the election of Jussi HALLA-AHO MEP as its new leader. The party was eventually split and a group of 20 Finns Party members created the New Alternative, which will now try to form a new coalition, preventing the collapse of the government.

France: The party of President Emmanuel MACRON won most of the seats in the legislative elections will be held on 18 June. MEPs Marine LE PEN (ENF), Jean-Luc MÉLENCHON (GUE/NGL), Constance LE GRIP (EPP) and Louis ALIOT (ENF) were elected

Malta: Following the snap elections held on 3 June and the landslide victory of Prime Minister Joseph MUSCAT a new cabinet was formed. Helena DALLI became the new European affairs minister, replacing Louis GRECH, while Edward SCICLUNA remained in the helm of the finance ministry. Carmelo ABELA succeeded George VELLA as minister for foreign affairs.

Romania: The government collapsed on 14 June after the Social Democrat Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Party (ALDE) withdrew their support to Prime Minister Sorin GRINDEANU. However, GRINDEANU said that he will only resign if the President appoints a new prime minister. According to sources, the national executive committee of the PSD voted on 15 June to expel Sorin GRINDEANU from the party.  A confidence vote is to be submitted on Monday 19 June, it was announced by ALDE chair Calin POPESCU TARICEANU.

Spain: The government survived a vote of confidence tabled by Podemos party amid corruption allegations that rocked the Popular Party of Prime Minister Mariano RAJOY.

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


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