Movers and Shakers | 2 October 2020

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)

02 Oct 2020

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: The MEP elected to the new Belgian government, Polish MEP moves parliamentary group, the new Czech Permanent Representative, Belgian government formed, the latest Commission, public affairs appointments, and more!

European Parliament

October’s plenary session (5-8 October) will be held in Brussels and not in Strasbourg according to an announcement by President David Sassoli.

Petra de Sutter (Greens/EFA) has been sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Enterprises and Public Service in the new Belgian government. De Sutter, a member since July 2019, was chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and was also recently appointed Greens/EFA coordinator on the new special committee on beating cancer.

Committees and Delegations

Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age Special Committee (AIDA)
Axel Voss (EPP, DE) will be analysing the impacts and challenges of artificial intelligence on the economy in the EU in the role of rapporteur.

Human Rights Sub-committee (DROI)
Bernard Guetta (RE, FR) has been elected first vice-chair while Christian Sagartz (EPP, AT) has been elected third vice-chair.

Roman Haider (ID, AT) has become a substitute on the Tax Matters Sub-committee (FISC).
Ivan David (ID, CZ) and Angelo Ciocca (ID, IT) have become substitutes on the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA).

Political groups

Polish MEP Sylwia Spurek has left the S&D group to join the Greens/EFA citing the need for strong, progressive political groups and parties in the Parliament who will act on climate policy “independent of the energy, agricultural and transport lobby”. The Greens/EFA group have nominated Spurek to the role of vice-chair in the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee.

MEP news

Anna Fotyga (ECR, PL) has been re-elected secretary-general of the ECR Party. Spanish MEP Jorge Buxadé Villalba (ECR) has been elected as treasurer.

European Commission

The Commission has published a list of members of the Platform on Sustainable Finance, a body which will advise the Commission on the development of robust and science-based technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy, and policy development. Nathan Fabian, former rapporteur for the taxonomy sub-group of the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG), has been appointed chair of the platform and a full list of members can be found here.

Directorates-General and Services

Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI)
Elena Panichi replaces Nicolas Verlet as Head of Unit B4 (Organics) in an acting capacity.
Manuel Florez Droop replaces Isabelle Tranchant as Head of Unit I4 (Adoption procedures, committees, expert groups and civil dialogue groups) in an acting capacity.

Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EMPL)
Cinzia Masina replaces Judit Rozsa as Head of Unit E5 (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia) in an acting capacity.

František Bernadic has replaced John Verrinder as Director of Directorate C (Macro-economic statistics). The latter was performing the role in an acting capacity.

Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA)
Marcel Haag replaces Ugo Bassi as Director of Directorate B (Horizontal policies). Bassi had been performing the role in an acting capacity.
Kai Spitzer replaces Felicia Stanescu as Head of Unit A1 (Policy definition and coordination) in an acting capacity.
Benoit Mesnard replaces Anne Schaedle as policy assistant to the director-general John Berrigan.

Health and Food Safety (SANTE)
Nathalie Chaze leaves her role as Head of Unit, Strategy and Coordination leaving a vacant position. Chaze becomes Director of Directorate D (Food sustainability, international relations, formerly ‘Food chain: stakeholder and international relations’) replacing Matthew Hudson who was performing the role in an acting capacity.
Alexandra Nikolakopoulou moves to Head of Unit D1 (Farm to fork strategy) replacing Péter Bokor who led the unit under its former title ‘Food chain science and stakeholder relations’. Nikolakopoulou’s former role as Head of Unit E1 (Food information and composition) has now been left vacant.
Péter Bokor replaces Andrea Gavinelli as Head of Unit G3 (Official controls). Gavinelli becomes Head of Unit G5 (Animal welfare, Antimicrobial resistance).

Human Resources and Security (HR)
Vanessa Uytborck replaces Giancarlo Granero as Head of Unit AMC 7 (Account Management Centre) serving BUDG, DIGIT, EPSO, HR, OIB, PMO, SCIC.

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Directorate-General (GROW)
Former deputy director-general of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) Maive Rute (EE), has been appointed deputy director-general with the date of effect yet to be determined.

Migration and Home Affairs (HOME)
Johannes Luchner has been appointed deputy director-general overseeing Directorate C (Migration, Protection and Visa).

Structural Reform Support (REFORM)
The composition of Directorate A (Resources and Aid Programme) under the direction of Director Judit Rozsa has been announced. Giuseppe Menchi will lead Unit A1 (Budget and Finance) while Thomas Andreou will head up Unit A2 (Planning, Evaluation and Coordination of Support. Kjartan Bjornsson has been appointed Head of Unit A3 (Cyprus Settlement Support) and finally Ioannis Hadjiyiannis has been appointed Head of Unit A4 (Athens Office).

Council of the European Union

Permanent Representations

Czech Republic
Former managing director for the Americas at the EU’s External Action Service (EEAS) Edita Hrdá, takes over from Ambassador Jakub Dürr as Czech Permanent Representative. Prior to commencing her role with the EEAS in 2016 Hrdá held several positions in the Czech Republic’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which she joined in 1992. In 2011 she was appointed as Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations and before that that she was Director-General of the Minister’s Section, Director-General of the Economic and Cultural Section, Director of the American Department, Director of Multilateral Economic Affairs and Director of Central Europe Department.

Public Affairs

Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT)
Iverna McGowan has been appointed Europe Director and Head of the Europe office. A prominent figure in human rights advocacy in the European Union, McGowan joins CDT from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner where she led efforts to protect online civic space.

Ceemet - European Tech & Industry Employers
Rainer Ludwig, Director Human Resources, Ford of Germany, has been elected President. He succeeds Diego Andreis, Vice President of the Italian tech industry employers’ association Federmeccanica. Ludwig has been head of the German association Gesamtmetall’s committee on international affairs for many years and is an expert in European affairs.

President of the French farmers’ union FNSEA, Christiane Lambert has been elected president for the next two years, replacing Joachim Rukwied, who had been leading the organisation for the past three years.

ePURE - European renewable ethanol
Simona Vackeová joins as Director of Government Affairs and will be working on energy, environment and trade issues. Vackeová spent nearly a decade working on horizontal trade issues affecting the European ceramic industry and assumed the role of Trade Policy Director at the European Ceramic Industry Association.

Federation of European Publishers
Peter Kraus vom Cleff has been elected president. Kraus vom Cleff is the commercial managing director of Rowohlt Verlage.

National News

Caretaker finance minister, Alexander De Croo has been named as the new prime minister, 16 months after the country’s parliamentary elections. De Croo will lead the seven-party coalition comprised of Socialist Party Differently (PES), the Socialist Party (PES), The Reformist Movement (ALDE), Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), Ecolo (EGP), the Greens (EGP) and Flemish Christian democrats (EPP).

For full details of the new government, please visit

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

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