Movers and Shakers | 23 October 2017

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

23 Oct 2017

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: news from the MEPs, latest appointments in the European Commission and public affairs, the conclusions of the European Council on Brexit, the new Romanian ministers, the elections in Czech Republic and more.   


European Parliament:

Composition of the committees and the delegations:

Clara Eugenia AGUILERA GARCÍA (S&D, ES) left the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) and joined the committee on petitions (PETI).
Elena VALENCIANO (S&D, ES) left the committee on petitions (PETI) and joined the committee on international trade (INTA), replacing Sergio GUTIÉRREZ PRIETO (S&D, ES
Jasenko SELIMOVIC (ALDE, SE) joined the delegation to the Euronest parliamentary assembly (D-EPA).
Marie-Pierre VIEU (GUE/NGL, FR) joined the committee on budgets (BUDG) and the delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean community (D-AND).
Raymond FINCH (EFDD, UK) joined the delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia (D-SAS).

Political groups:
EPP Group
: Andrey KOVATCHEV (BU) was elected as the new Vice-Chair of the group, replacing Mariya GABRIEL (BU).

MEPs’ appointments and news:
UKIP appointments:
EFDD group member Margot PARKER was appointed as deputy leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), while her fellow MEPs Jim CARVER and Mike HOOKEM were appointed as assistant deputy leaders.

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Liberal outrage: The ALDE group reacted angrily to UK Brexit Secretary of State David DAVIS’s demand to sack its British MEP Catherine BEARDER, following a vote in the European Parliament which said that “sufficient progress” had not been made for phase two of negotiations to begin as planned.
In his letter to the leader of the Liberal Democrats party Sir Vince CABLE, David DAVIS expressed his disappointment about BEARDER’s vote against moving the negotiations onto the next stage and asked him whether he “will follow suit and take action against her, who voted against the best future for the UK and the EU, or if this is the official position of the Liberal Democrats”.  
ALDE group leader and European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator, Guy VERHOFSTADT reacted to DAVIS’s claim by saying: “It is deeply troubling that a Government minister would use his office to infer that a democratically elected politician was acting in a traitorous or unpatriotic manner, by voting in favour of a parliamentary resolution that seeks to provide certainty for both EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, whose existing rights are under threat.” Mrs BEARDER defended her vote and said “my job is to represent the people who elected me, and not be intimidated or bullied. I will continue to do that along with my Liberal colleagues from across the EU. ”

Investigation into Maltese journalist’s murder: MEPs from across the political spectrum have demanded a deep and thorough investigation by the Commission into the murder of Maltese investigative reporter Daphne CARUANA GALIZIA. Read more.

MEPs are Strasbourg for the second plenary session of this month from Monday 23 to Thursday 26 October.


European Commission:

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN):

Directorate G – Economies of the Member States II: Javier YANIZ IGAL became Head of Unit G1 (Belgium, France, Luxembourg), having previously held the role on an acting basis.

Joint Research Centre (JRC):
Directorate F - Health, Consumers and Reference Materials: Arnd HOEVELER became Head of Unit F2 (Consumer Products Safety), taking over from Maria Pilar AGUAR FERNANDEZ, who assumed Mr HOEVELER's former role in Directorate E of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation.
Directorate R: Ilze BALTMANE left her role as Head of Unit TEMP (Organization and Staff Development) for a Head of Unit role within the Office for Administration and Payment of Individual Entitlements (PMO). She left Patrice LEMAITRE, Head of Unit A1 (Resource Planning) as her interim replacement.

Office for Administration and Payment of Individual Entitlements (PMO):
Unit PMO4: Anna Maria SILVANO moved from Unit PMO6 to become Head of Unit PMO4 (Pensions and Relations with Former Staff). She took over from Guiseppe SCOGNAMIGLIO, who left the role to head up a new IT Taskforce within PMO.
Unit PMO6: Ilze BALTMANE, formerly of the Research and Innovation Directorate-General (RTD), became Head of Unit PMO6 (PMO Ispra). Ms BALTMANE replaces Anna Maria SILVANO, who left to become Head of Unit PMO6.
IT Task Force: Giuseppe SCOGNAMIGLIO became head of PMO's IT Taskforce. Mr SCOGNAMIGLIO was previously Head of Unit 4 (Pensions and Relations with Former Staff).

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Research and Innovation (RTD):
Directorate D – Industrial Technologies: Patrik KOLAR was seconded his role as Head of Unit D5 (Administration and Finance) to become Head of Department in Unit EASME.B (Like and H2020 Energy, Environment, Resources) within RTD Directorate R. He leaves his deputy Jochen BRODERSEN as acting Head of Unit.
Directorate E – Health: Maria Pilar AGUAR FERNANDEZ, formerly of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), became Head of Unit E5 (Innovative Tools, Technologies and Concepts in Health Research), taking over from Arnd HOEVELER, who has taken up Ms AGUAR FERNANDEZ's former role as Head of Unit F2 at the JRC.
Directorate G – Energy: Head of Unit G6 Marisa ATIENZA MORALES departs for Directorate R, leaving her deputy Alexandros IATROU in charge on an acting basis.
Didier GAMBIER has left his role as Head of Department in Unit EASME.B (Like and H2020 Energy, Environment, Resources) and has been replaced by Patrik KOLAR, previously Head of Unit D5 (Administration and Finance).
Marisa ATIENZA MORALES, previously Head of Unit G6, becomes Head of Unit R4 (New Management Models), taking over from Deputy Head of Unit Alexandros ARABATZIS, who held the role on an acting basis.

Directorate E – Policy Coordination II: Julien MOUSNIER becomes Head of Unit E1 (Citizens and Security), taking over from William SLEATH, Director of Directorate E who held the role on an interim basis. MOUSNIER was previously Deputy Head of Unit E1.


Permanent Representations:

Poland: deputy permanent representative Sebastian BARKOWSKI was appointed as chargé d'affaires, following the resignation of Jarosław STARZYK.


Public affairs:

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Advancing Public Transport (UITP): Mohamed MEZGHANI was appointed as the new Secretary General as of January 2018, taking over from Alain FLAUSCH, who will retire after having served in the role for 6 six years. The outgoing Secretary General will remain as an advisor until spring 2018. Mr MEZGHANI is currently deputy Secretary General.

American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AMCHAM EU) : Maxime BUREAU, Head of Government Affairs, EMEA, 3M, was appointed as the new chairman for a two-year mandate. He will replace Karl COX.

New Consultancy! BoldT: was launched in Brussels and is hoping to create a new category of consultancy that will help leaders forge transformational change through business strategies and communication advice. Herbert HEITMANN is chairing the consultancy and will be focusing on CEO positioning, communications strategy and crisis communication, while Jeremy GALBRAITH is the managing director, in charge of strategy, leadership communications, campaigning, issues and crisis.  Former Dutch MEP Michiel VAN HULTEN is a founding partner will be focusing on public policy, political risk campaigns and Brexit.

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS): Harold TOR joined the team as head of communications. In his new role, he will be expanding the scope of the think-tank's digital communications and media outreach. Prior to his appointment, he was head of digital at GPLUS.

European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC): Olivier De MATOS succeeded Alan POOLE as Secretary General. Prior to his appointment he was Managing Director at Burson-Marsteller in Brussels.

German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA): Dr. Kurt-Christian SCHEEL will succeed Dr Kay LINDEMANN as Managing Director in 1 January 2018. Dr LINDEMANN will take up a new role, as head of corporate policy and authorized representative of the executive board at Deutsche Lufthansa AG 

Vattenfall: Anna BORG, currently senior Vice President of Vattenfall’s business area markets was appointed as the new chief financial officer of the organisation. Niek DEN HOLLANDER, currently Vice President of Trading in Vattenfall will replace her.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: Theresa MAY visited Brussels on Monday 16 October to attend a working dinner with the European Commission president Jean-Claude JUNCKER and EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER, in a bid to break the stalemate of the negotiations ahead of the EU summit on 19 and 20 October. In a joint statement Mrs MAY and president JUNCKER agreed that the negotiations between the EU and the UK must be “accelerated”. However, the pair failed to impress MEPs after their meeting.

Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday 17 October, ECR group member Charles TANNOCK, said it was important the EU could still rely on the “wealth of knowledge” the UK possessed on security issues after it leaves the EU in 2019, while S&D group deputy and chair of the civil liberties committee Claude MORAES called on the UK to provide further clarity on post-Brexit security cooperation.

European Parliament president Antonio TAJANI said that the UK is “not realistic” about the financial settlement. Talking to BBC Newsnight programme he said “We are realistic. The UK government is not realistic. I think we need to be very clear. We need to put the money on the table. We need our money back, as Mrs THATCHER said 30, 40 years ago.” Read more.

In Westminster news, the EU Withdrawal Bill is set to be delayed until at least mid-November amid fears of a major Tory rebellion, according to a report. Read more.
Prime Minister Theresa MAY announced that “EU citizens living lawfully in the UK today will be able to stay.” Read more.

On Thursday 19 October and while the 28 EU leaders gathered in Brussels for the EU summit, German Chancellor Angela MERKEL suggested that although not sufficient progress has been achieved, “we will continue the talks with a view to reaching the second phase in December”. Read more.

European Council President Donald TUSK said on Friday that EU leaders agreed to start internal preparations for the second phase of the negotiations, even though sufficient progress has not been made. According to the conclusions adopted by the European Council, EU leaders will reassess during their next meeting December, when they will determine whether sufficient progress has been achieved on the three main issues.

Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary of state, David DAVIS has reportedly told officials to step up preparations for a 'no deal' Brexit, as Theresa MAY urged EU leaders to create a new "dynamic" in negotiations. Read more.

Elsewhere, the head of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd BLANKFEIN tweeted that he is planning to spend more time in Frankfurt. The move sparked speculation that the US bank is planning to shift more jobs from the City of London to Germany post-Brexit. Read more.

Czech Republic: Andrej BABIS’s ANO party won 30 per cent of the votes on the elections held on Friday and Saturday. The Civic Democrats and the Pirates Party, which enters the parliament for first time, came second. Mr BABIS, who is set to become the new Czech prime minister will hold coalition talks to form a government.

Romania: Paul STANESCU was appointed as the new development minister and deputy prime minister, following the resignation of Sevil SHHAIDEH amid a scandal regarding a land transfer from the ministry of environment to a private company. Minister for European funds Rovana PLUMB and minister for transport Razvan CUC also resigned and were replaced by Marius NICA and Felix STROE respectively.

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

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