Movers and Shakers | 23 July 2018

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

23 Jul 2018

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: MEPs' appointments, the EEAS nominations of heads of EU delegations, latest appointments in the European Commission and public affairs, latest on EU enlargement, Brexit and more. 


European Parliament:

Composition of the committees and delegations: 

Mirja VEHKAPERÄ (ALDE, FI) was elected as second Vice-Chair of the committee on development (DEVE). She replaced Paavo VÄYRYNEN (ALDE, FI) who left his seat in the Parliament.  

Viviane REDING (EPP, LU) left the committee on constitutional affairs (AFCO) and joined the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI).  
Elżbieta Katarzyna ŁUKACIJEWSKA (EPP, PL) left the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) and joined the committee on constitutional affairs (AFCO).  
Pavel POC (S&D, CZ) joined the special committee on terrorism, replacing Miroslav POCHE (S&D, CZ).  
Nikos ANDROULAKIS (S&D, EL) joined the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (D-MED).  
MEPs’ appointments:  
Gesine MEISSNER (ALDE, DE), rapporteur on the directive on port reception facilities for the delivery of waste from ships, was appointed as Parliament's Special Envoy on maritime policy. She will be informing the President on the latest developments, will be representing the European Parliament at conferences and will be assisting in formulating policy options on issues regarding maritime until the end of the current legislative mandate.   

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European Commission:

International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO):  

Directorate C – Planet and prosperity: Coordination of the EIP secretariat and blending facilities (C7) was created. Torsten EWERBECK was appointed as acting head. 

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Directorate-General (GROW): 
was appointed as the new head of strategic planning and delivery replacing Inigo URRESTI, who was acting in the role.  
Directorate D – Reach: Former head of KETs, digital manufacturing and interoperability Kirsi EKROTH-MANSSILA started her new role as head of chemicals replacing Johanna BERNSEL, who was acting in the role.  
Directorate F – Innovation policy and investment for growth: Current director Slawomir TOKARSKI has been appointed as acting head of KETs, digital manufacturing and interoperability, replacing Kirsi EKROTH-MANSSILA. 

Communications Networks Content and Technology (CONNECT):  
Directorate D - Policy Strategy and Outreach: Eric BADIQUÉ was appointed as acting head of research strategy and programme coordination, replacing Morten FJALLAND.  
Secretariat-General (SG): 
Directorate B – Institutional and Administrative Policies: María OLIVÁN AVILÉS was appointed as head of transparency, replacing current Data Protection Officer Martin KRÖGER.  


European External Action Service (EEAS):

Budget and administration department: 
Security and infrastructure: Former head of Regional Centre Europe (BA.BS.4) Bruno DUQUESNE was appointed as head of infrastructure and safety, replacing Serge CHRISTIANE.  

Secretariat-General for political affairs:  
Former special representative for the Middle East Peace Process Fernando GENTILINI was appointed as new managing director of Middle East and North Africa, replacing current deputy managing director Colin SCICLUNA, who was acting in the role. 

EU External Delegations:  
High Representative Federica MOGHERINI announced the nomination of 24 new heads of EU delegations. The nominees will be formally appointed following receipt of the agréments: 

Albania: Current director for Security (D) in DG Home Luigi SORECA was nominated as head of the delegation. Mr SORECA is replacing Romana VLAHUTIN.  
Botswana: Jan SADEK was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing Alexander BAUM.  
ChadHead of the political, press and information section in the EU delegation to Democratic Republic of Congo Bertrand SORET was nominated as head of the delegation to Chad. Mr SORET is replacing Denisa-Elena IONETE.  
China: Nicolas CHAPUIS was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing Hans Dietmar SCHWEISGUT.  
Congo, Republic ofCurrent head of the EU Delegation to Niger Raul MATEUS PAULA was nominated as head of the delegation to the Republic of Congo, Mr MATEUS PAULA is replacing Saskia DE LANG. 
Council of Europe (Strasbourg): Meglena KUNEVA was nominated as head of the delegation to the Council of Europe, replacing Jari VILÉN.  
Georgia: Carl HARTZELL was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing János HERMAN. Mr HARTZELL currently works as a senior foreign policy adviser in the cabinet of the President of the European Council. 
GhanaCurrent head of economic partnership agreements and relations with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific in DG Trade Diana ACCONCIA was nominated as head of the delegation. Ms ACCONCIA is replacing William HANNA.  
Guinea, Republic of: Josep COLL I CARBO was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing Gerardus GIELEN.  
Ivory Coast: Jobst VON KIRCHMANN was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing Jean-François VALETTE. Mr VON KIRCHMANN is currently serving as head of Southern Africa and Indian Ocean in DG Devco.  
Japan: Patricia FLOR was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing Viorel ISTICIOAIA-BUDURA.  
Kazakhstan: Current deputy head of the EU delegation to Russia Sven-Olov CARLSSON was nominated as head of the delegation to Kazakhstan. Mr CARLSSON is replacing Zoltan SZALAI.  
KyrgyzstanCurrent head of the EEAS Western Balkans division Eduard AUER was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing Jaap ORA.  
Libya: Alan BUGEJA was nominated as head of delegation, replacing Bettina MUSCHEIDT.  
MadagascarCurrent deputy head of the EU delegation to Nicaragua and Chargé d'Affaires a.i. to Panama, Giovanni DI GIROLAMO was nominated as head of the EU delegation to Madagascar. Mr DI GIROLAMO is replacing Antonio SANCHEZ-BENEDICTO GASPAR.   
Malawi: Sandra PAESEN was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing Marchel GERRMANN.  
MozambiqueCurrent head of the EU delegation to Madagascar and Comoros Antonio SANCHEZ-BENEDITO GASPAR was nominated as head of the delegation to Mozambique. Mr SANCHEZ-BENEDITO GASPAR is replacing Sven Kühn VON BURGDSDORFF.  
NigerCurrent head of the EU delegation to Chad Denisa-Elena IONETE was nominated to replace Raus Mateus PAULA as head of the delegation to Niger.  
Senegal: Irene MINGASSON was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing Joaquín GONZÁLEZ-DUCAY. Ms MINGASSON is currently serving as head of regional cooperation in the Southern Neighbourhood in DG Near.  
South Sudan: Sinead WALSH was nominated to replace Stefano DE LEO as head of the delegation.  
Tajikistan: Marilyn JOSEFSON was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing Hidajet BIŠČEVIĊ  
United Nations (Geneva)Permanent Chair of the European Union Political and Security Committee Walter STEVENS was nominated to replace Peter SØRENSEN as head of the EU delegation to the United Nations in Geneva.  
United States: Stavros LAMBRINIDIS was nominated as head of the delegation, replacing David O'SULLIVAN. Mr LAMBRINIDIS is currently serving as EU Special Representative for Human Rights.  
Zimbabwe: Timo OLKKONEN was nominated to replace Philippe VAN DAMME as head of the delegation.  


EU Enlargement:

Kosovo: The potential EU candidate member state fulfilled two visa liberalisation requirements, namely the ratification of the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro and the track record in the fight against crime and corruption, the European Commission announced. The Commission's report also confirms that Kosovo continues to fullfil all other benchmarks, as set out in the Visa Liberalisation Roadmap. The Commission's proposal must now to be adopted by the European Parliament and Council.  

FYROM and Albania: the screening process of the two countries was officially launched by Johannes HAHN, the EU Commissioner for neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations, in Skopje and Tirana, setting out the path towards opening accession negotiations in June 2019.  


Public affairs:

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European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders (EFFAB): Craig LEWIS was appointed as the new chairman of the steering committee, succeeding Xavier DAVID, who stepped down from the role in February 2018.  


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: The new UK Brexit secretary Dominic RAAB made his debut in Brussels on 19 July, where he met with the EU chief negotiator Michael BARNIER and his team. Following their meeting, BARNIER said that the two parts need to work in the next 13 weeks, on finalising the Withdrawal Agreement, as they are not there yet, and prepare a political declaration on the future relationship. 

The visit coincided with the publication of the European Commission’s communication on preparing for the all scenarios of the negotiations. The document calls on the EU27 member states, private actors, business operators and professionals to intensify preparations at all levels and for all scenarios and highlights that the UK’s withdrawal will undoubtedly cause disruption.  

The 18-page document analyses all scenarios, including the “no deal”, and their consequences. It states that in the absence of a withdrawal agreement, “there will be no transition period and EU law will cease to apply to and in the United Kingdom as of 30 March 2019” and it adds that "there would be no specific arrangement in place for EU citizens in the United Kingdom, or for UK citizens in the European Union.” It also notes that regulatory checks and tariffs would need to be applied “at borders with the UK,” warning that “transport between the United Kingdom and the European Union would be severely impacted.” However, it suggests, “depending on the circumstances leading to the withdrawal without an agreement, the EU may wish to enter into negotiations with the United Kingdom as a third country.” 

Earlier last week, Theresa MAY accepted four amendments to the customs bill, tabled by the influential European Research Group (ERG). The amendments aimed to outlaw plans for the UK to collect tariffs on behalf of the EU unless Brussels agrees to do the same with UK tariffs. The crunch vote was backed with 307 to 301 and came a relief to Theresa MAY, after her government lost a vote calling for the UK to stay in the European Medicines Regulatory Network post-Brexit.  

The UK government suffered another resignation, after the parliamentary private secretary in the Foreign Office, Robert COURTS stood down from his role, over the Chequers agreement, which he said he could not support. Guto BEBB became the tenth member to quit the UK government. The defence minister was one of the 14 Conservative MPs rebelling against the government over an amendment to the Cross-border trade bill.  

Following calls for a vote on the final Brexit deal, Theresa MAY insisted that there will be no referendum under any circumstances. The UK prime minister suffered another blow, after Philip DAVIES became the lastest MP who submitted a letter of no confidence in her leadership.  

Elsewhere in the UK, the election watchdog fined the official Vote Leave campaign more than £60,000 for breaking the spending rules during the EU referendum and referred it to the police.  

Speaking from Belfast on Friday 20 July, Theresa MAY said that "the EU must evolve its position on Brexit and not fall back on unworkable proposals regarding the Irish border." She also said that "the economic and constitutional dislocation of a formal 'third country' customs border within our own country is something I will never accept and believe no British prime minister could ever accept."  

The deputy prime minister of Ireland and minister of foreign affairs in charge of Brexit, Simon COVENEY had tweeted earlier that "If the UK Government don’t support current EU wording on Backstop in draft Withdrawal Agreement, then obligation is on them to propose a viable and legally operable alternative wording that delivers same result: no border infrastructure. Clear UK commitments were made on this in December and March."

Speaking at a press conference after the General Affairs Council on Friday 20 July, Michel BARNIER said that it was not the EU's intention to create a border in the Irish sea between Ireland and the UK, while he repeated that the Irish border issue needs to be de-dramatised . He also raised serious concerns about the Chequers agreement regarding the proposals on customs controls and the regulations for goods, warning that they will lead to additional bureaucracy.  Full speech here.  

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