Movers and Shakers | 23 April 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)

23 Apr 2021

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: Parliament’s newest interest group, rapporteurs on Parliament’s anti-SLAPP efforts appointed, spotlight on SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, DG COMP deputy director-general moves to the private sector, the latest Commission, public affairs appointments, and more!

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European Parliament

On Wednesday MEPs from across political groups came together to launch a new interest group on Obesity and Health System Resilience with the aim of making resilient health systems a reality by addressing obesity as a prioritised chronic disease. Pernille Weiss (EPP, DK), who is also shadow rapporteur for the EU pharmaceutical strategy in the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee, will chair the new group. Vice-chairs are Sara Cerdas (S&D, PT) and Susana Solís Pérez (RE, ES).

MEP News
Vice-president of the Parliament Roberta Metsola (EPP, MT) and Tiemo Wölken (S&D, DE) have been appointed to lead the Parliament’s anti-SLAPP efforts as rapporteurs for an initiative that will see EU-wide rules against Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs). Metsola has described the Parliament’s work as a watershed moment for journalism in Europe and has said that she is looking to have a clear EU Anti-SLAPP Directive tabled by the European Commission by end of year. In a Twitter thread, Wölken reiterated his support for journalists, NGOs and civil society, all of which he aims to protect in his work as rapporteur.


European Commission

Commissioner Cabinets
Jasna Pajnkihar moves from policy assistant to member of cabinet within the team of Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič. Pajnkihar will be responsible for Asia and the Pacific as well as relations with the European Parliament and national parliaments.

Directorates-General and Services

Competition (COMP)
Current deputy director-general for state-aid Carles Esteva Mosso has been hired by law firm Latham & Watkins as a partner in its antitrust and competition practice. Esteva Mosso makes the move to the private sector after over two decades working in the Commission. In one of his first roles, Esteva Mosso was member in the cabinet of Commissioner for Competition Policy Mario Monti after which he moved to DG COMP. Esteva Mosso is expected to leave his position at the Commission in June.

European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
Joanna Darmanin replaces Andreas Papaconstantinou as head of unit C1 (Humanitarian Aid Thematic Policies). Papaconstantinou had been performing the role in an acting capacity.

Energy (ENER)
Paula Pinho replaces Hans Van Steen as director of directorate B (Just Transition, Consumers, Energy Efficiency and Innovation). Van Steen had been performing the role in an acting capacity.
As Pinho assumes her new role she is replaced in her previous positions as head of unit C1 (Renewables and Energy System Integration Policy) and C2 (Decarbonisation and Sustainability of Energy Sources) by Antonio Lopez-Nicolas and Catharina Sikow-Magny respectively (both in an acting capacity).
Jan Panek has replaced Massimo Garribba as director of directorate D (Nuclear Energy, Safety and ITER). Garribba had been performing the role in an acting capacity.
Adela Tesarova takes over from Tadgh O’Briain as head of unit B1 (Consumers, Local Initiatives, Just Transition).
Cristina Cuadra Garcia replaces Anne Montagnon as head of unit SRD3 (Budget and Financial Management) in the shared resource between DG MOVE and DG ENER.

Human Resources and Security (HR)
Stephen Collins replaces Matthias Will as director of directorate A (Organisational Development) in an acting capacity.
Mihai Serban Dumitrache replaces Marie-Hélène Pradines as head of unit B1 (Selection, Recruitment & End of Service) in an acting capacity.

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW)
Marie-Hélène Pradines replaces Milosz Momot as head of unit G1 (Tourism and textiles).

Migration and Home Affairs (HOME)
Nicolas Bessot takes over from Angela Cristea as head of unit A2 which has been renamed ‘Communication’.
Angela Cristea in turn replaces Andrea De Candido as head of unit B4 (Innovation and Industry for Security). The latter had been performing the role temporarily.

Mobility and Transport (MOVE)
Kristian Schmidt replaces Matthew Baldwin as director of directorate C (Land).

Spokesperson’s Service (SPP)
Elisa Castillo Nieto has started as press officer for foreign affairs and security policy.

Public Affairs

EuropaBio - The European Association for Bioindustries
Dovilé Sandaraité has been appointed communications manager. Sandaraité is a strategic communications expert who in the past, has worked as head of the communications unit at the Lithuanian Competition Council and as communications and EU affairs manager at EURASHE – the European umbrella association of higher education institutions.

Luca Bertuzzi joins Euractiv as digital and media editor reporting on European policies and politics related to digital affairs, big tech and media independence. Bertuzzi was previously communications consultant at the consultancy Ecorys.

Hume Brophy
Alastair Gornall been appointed as non-executive chair succeeding Michael Brophy who has chaired the business since 2012. Gornall is a highly experienced chair and non-executive director with over 30 years’ experience in the communications and professional services sector. He will take over in May.

Samuel Maubanc has joined Neste as the new head of EU affairs and general manager. Maubanc has extensive experience within the Brussels sphere having most recently worked as general manager for Liquid Gas Europe. Previous to this he worked with Edelman as a public affairs account manager between 2008 and 2011.

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German Elections 2021 - stay informed about candidates and more!

Spotlight on...Olaf Scholz (SPD)
The first candidate to be confirmed, Olaf Scholz was nominated by the Social Democratic Party’s (SPD) executive in August 2020. Scholz is quite unique in his position as unlike his predecessor Martin Schulz, who was SPD candidate for Chancellor in the previous elections, he is not chair of the party. This is not to say that he doesn’t bring with him considerable leadership experience. Scholz was deputy chair of the party up until the election of Saskia Esken and Norbert Borjans as co-chairs in 2019 and also served as interim leader during the 2017 coalition talks for Cabinet Merkel IV.

Scholz, who is also federal minister for finance and vice-chancellor, has seen his popularity rise over the past months in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been praised for his crafting of Germany’s multi-billion-euro recovery fund. With the three candidates now on the board – Scholz, Armin Laschet (CDU) and Annalena Baerbock (Greens) - Scholz is thought to be sitting in the middle in terms of popularity.

As far as policy priorities are concerned, Scholz has spoken in favour of a more integrated European financial policy and a strengthening of the EU’s position in foreign policy decision-making to ensure international security.

Sign up now to receive the full election package
Should you wish to keep abreast of all developments over the coming months, now is the time to sign up for Dods comprehensive 2021 German Elections Package which will be launched on 19 April. The service informs and helps public affairs teams design their communications strategies in the run up to and after the elections until the new Federal Government has been appointed.

Coming up in the next edition of Movers and Shakers
Next week in the spotlight will be leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Armin Laschet who was chosen as the party’s candidate earlier this week after rival Markus Söder dropped out of the race.

Click here to view your free copy of the Guide to the Federal Election.

For more information please contact Sandra Fernandez at or call on 0044 207 593 5545.

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