Movers and Shakers | 22 January 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)

22 Jan 2021

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: The Luxembourgish MEP suspended from Parliament, the Renew Europe group expels one of its members, the Commission reorganises the ‘Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom, Italy’s prime minister survives vote of no confidence, the latest Commission, public affairs appointments, and more!

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European Parliament

MEP News
Luxembourg MEP Monica Semedo (RE, LU) has been suspended from the Parliament for 15 days following complaints of “psychological harassment” filed by 3 former assistants last year. Semedo cannot participate in parliamentary business and will not receive her daily allowance.

Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR, PL) has been appointed rapporteur on the proposed revision of the European Union Regulation on Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E).

Swedish MEP and vice-president of the Renew Europe group, Fredrick Federley (RE, SE) has left the Parliament and stepped away from politics following revelations that he lives with a convicted pedophile. It has been reported that Emma Wiesner will take over from Federley in Brussels and will become Sweden’s youngest parliamentarian at 28 years of age. A civil engineer, Wiesner has previously worked as an engineer on several energy and climate projects and is keen to pursue these goals at an EU level.

Political Groups

Renew Europe
Viktor Uspaskich (RE, LT) has been expelled from the group following a homophobic Facebook post by the MEP earlier in the month. President of the group, Dacian Cioloș made it clear that such remarks were incompatible with the values of Renew Europe and that there was no place for homophobia in the group. Uspaskich will now sit with the Non-inscrits.

European Commission

Vice-president for interinstitutional relations and foresight Maroš Šefčovič, has been appointed as the Member of the Commission to co-chair and represent the European Union in the Partnership Council, established by the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Directorates-General and Services

Ruth Paserman replaces Anne Grisard as director of directorate F (Investment).
Gelu Calacean replaces Cinzia Masina as head of unit E5 (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia). Masina had been performing the role in an acting capacity.
Dietrich Rometsch replaces Roberta Persichelli Scola as head of unit G5 (Communication) in an acting capacity.

Jan Panek has been appointed as Director for Nuclear energy, safety and ITER. Panek is currently head of unit in charge of the consumer policy in the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (JUST).

Significant structural changes have taken places within the Directorate-General. Please refer to for a comprehensive and up to date record.

Human Resources and Security (HR)
Géraldine Dufort has been appointed as principal adviser for the newly created Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The Office will implement the diversity policy in the field of human resources and act as a “one stop shop” for all experts and services that contribute to advancing diversity, equality and inclusion for our staff across all Commission departments.

International Partnerships (INTPA)
DG International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) is now DG International Partnerships (INTPA) as of 16 January 2021. Along with the new name, the DG has a new mission and new structure.

Significant structural changes have taken places within the Directorate-General. Please refer to for a comprehensive and up to date record.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MARE)
Annette Hurrelmann replaces Joost Paardekooper as head of unit C3 (Scientific Advice and Data Collection) in an acting capacity. Paardekooper moves to become head of the new unit in directorate C, unit C5 (Management of fisheries shared with the UK, Norway and other Coastal States).
Martina Doppelhammer replaces Marie-Laure Casoni as head of unit E4 (Legal Affairs). Casoni had been performing the role in an acting capacity.

Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR)
Henrike Trautmann replaces Maciej Popowski as director of directorate B (Neighborhood South) in an acting capacity.
Matteo Banti replaces Eric Gidrol as head of unit R4 (Contracts and Finance ENI). Gidrol had been performing the role in an acting capacity.
Philip Mikos replaces Jean Christophe Filori as head of unit B3 (North Africa). Filori takes on Mikos’ previous role as head of unit (Operations) in the EUD to Morocco.

Paymaster Office (PMO)
Alexander Gemberg-Wiesike has been appointed as Director. Gemberg-Wiesike currently serves as Head of Unit for Organisational Performance, Resource Allocation & Structures in the Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security (HR).

Secretariat-General (SG)
The Commission has established a new Service for the EU-U.K. Agreements (UKS), which will replace the Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom (UKTF) as of 1 March 2021. The new service for implementing and monitoring the trade agreement will sit under the Secretariat-General and its mandate and duration will be reviewed on a continuous basis.
Michel Barnier, formerly head of the UK Task Force, will become Special Adviser to President von der Leyen as of 1 February 2021 and will advise the President on the implementation of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and provide expertise in view of the finalisation of the EU's ratification process of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Leopoldo Rubinacci leaves their previous role as director of directorate G (Trade Defence) and replaces Peter Sandler as director of directorate R (Resources, Inter-Institutional Relations, Communications and Civil Society). Sandler moves to become director of directorate F (Enforcement, Market Access, SMEs, Legal affairs, Technology and Security) filling a vacant tenure.
Edouard Bourcieu has been appointed head of unit A3 (Chief Economist, Trade Analysis and Evaluation) filling a vacant tenure.
Timo Hammaren becomes head of unit E2 (Southern neighbours, Middle East, Turkey, Russia and Central Asia) filling a vacant tenure.

Other EU Institutions and Agencies

European Court of Auditors
On Tuesday, The Council of the EU Marek Opioła to the Court, despite the fact MEPs recommended that the Council reject his candidacy. Opioła will replace Janusz Wojciechowski, who left the court to become EU Commissioner for Agriculture.

Public Affairs

European Council of Young Farmers
Current vice-president Samuel Masse is set to take over as president following the resignation of president Jannes Maes.

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National News

Prime minister Giuseppe Conte has survived two votes of no confidence following the defection of Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva party. While a snap election is not anticipated, the government must win support from opposition parties to regain its majority. A cabinet reshuffle is likely.

Arnoldas Pranckevičius has been appointed deputy foreign minister for EU affairs. Pranckevičius participated in a General Affairs Council meeting for the first time this week. Previously, Pranckevičius headed the EU representation in Lithuania and was a diplomatic adviser to Parliament Presidents Jerzy Buzek and Martin Schulz.

Two months before elections, the government of prime minister Mark Rutte has resigned on the back of a child benefit’s scandal in which more than 20,000 families were wrongly accused of fraud by the tax authority. The government will continue in a caretaker capacity until the general elections in March.

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


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