Movers and Shakers | 22 November 2019


Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: Last Commissioner-designate given the green light, the JRC's Director-General leaves Brussels, the fate of Fidesz in the EPP, Klaus Iohannis poised for victory in second round of Romanian presidential vote, latest Commission, public affairs appointments, and more!

European Parliament

Jose Manuel Fernandes (S&D, PT) has had his parliamentary immunity waived. The request had been made as part of a possible lawsuit concerning an alleged crime of malfeasance.

National political parties
Louis STEDMAN-BRYCE (UK, NI), who was Scotland’s only Brexit Party MEP, has resigned from the party and will now sit as an independent. STEDMAN-BRYCE has said that he chose to leave the party as his "personal values" were "in direct conflict with those of the party".

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European Commission

The Parliament has given the green light to Hungarian nominee Olivér VÁRHELYI, Commissioner-designate for EU enlargement and neighbourhood. The decision was made after MEPs from the foreign affairs committee were satisfied by the responses VÁRHELYI gave to five written questions sent late last week. The questions had been sent after the Hungarian nominee failed to get enough votes at a hearing in the European Parliament on 14 November.

VÁRHELYI is the final Commissioner-designate to be approved by MEPs, and on Thursday the Conference of Presidents officially closed the hearings process. The Parliament will now vote on the new Commission in Plenary on 27 November. The move means that Commission president-elect Ursula VON DER LEYEN's new executive is on track to take office on 1 December.


Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT)
Khalil ROUHANA replaces Despina SPANOU as Director of Directorate H (Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity) in an acting capacity.

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN)
Vladmir BILEK replaces Anna KRZYZANOWSKA as Head of Unit, Financing of innovation, competitiveness and employment policies.

Joint Research Centre (JRC)
After nearly six years at the helm, Director-General Vladimír ŠUCHA has decided to leave Brussels and enter national politics in his home country of Slovakia. Deputy Director-General Charlina VITCHEVA will replace ŠUCHA in an acting capacity.

Migration and Home Affairs (HOME)
Anabela GAGO leaves her position as Policy Adviser in Directorate A (Straetgy and General Affairs), leaving a vacant position. GAGO is also replaced by Andrea DE CANDIDO in the role of Head of Unit B4 (Innovation and Industry for Security).

Victoria AMICI replaces Oliver SEIFFARTH as Head of Unit B1 (Borders and Schengen).

Office for Infrastructure and Logistics – Brussels (OIB)
Marie-Pierre DARCHY replaces Marc MOULIGNEAU as Director of the Office in an acting capacity.

Concetta CULTRERA replaces Catherine GRESSIER as Head of Unit, Historical Archives, Mail and Reproduction.

Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO)
Philippe JOURET replaces Dana SPINANT as Director of Directorate A (Budget, Communication and General Affairs) in an acting capacity.

Research and Innovation (RDT)
Peter WEHRHEIM replaces John BELL as Head of Unit C2 (Bieconomy and Food Systems).

Anna KRZYZANOWSKA takes on the role of Adviser for Mission Innovation.

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Public Affairs

European Environmental Bureau (EBB)
Members have elected Johanna SANDAHL (President, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation) as president. She succeeds outgoing president Jouni NISSINEN.

European Rail Freight Association (ERFA)
Dirk STAHL has been elected president while Maciej GLADYGA has been elected vice-president.

European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM)
The General Assembly has unanimously elected Luc LALLEMAND (CEO, Infrabel) as president. Dyan CROWTHER (CEO, High Speed One) and Alain QUINET (Director-General, SNCF Réseau) have been elected vice-presidents.

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National News

The newly elected president of the European People’s Party announced on Thursday that the EPP will decide in late January whether to expel prime minister Viktor ORBAN’s Fidesz party from its ranks. The EPP suspended Fidesz in March this year.

The second round of Romania’s presidential election takes place on Sunday between President Klaus IOHANNIS and DANCILA. IOHANNIS is expected to win but with a smaller majority than he did in 2014.

Read the most recent articles written by Mia Bartoloni and Megan MacDougall - Movers and Shakers | 9 April 2020

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