Movers and Shakers | 24 April 2017

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

24 Apr 2017

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: latest appointments in the Commission and public affairs, new Heads of Missions to the EU, the British snap elections, the first round of the French presidential elections, Brexit and more.

European Parliament:

MEP news:
British MEPs
: Molly SCOTT CATO (Greens/EFA) and Tim AKER (EFDD) announced that they are running in the UK’s snap election on 8 June. SCOTT CATO is vying to become an MP for Bristol, while AKER is running in Thurrock. Afzal KHAN (S&D) is standing to be an MP for Manchester-Gorton. A by-election for this constituency was scheduled for 4 May but was called off due to the general elections. Ian DUNCAN (ECR) was selected as the Conservatives’ candidate for Perth and North Perthshire.

Giant Horo Dance: took place on Brussels’ Grand Place on 23 April. Eva MAYDELL (EPP, BG) who joined the celebrations, had previously received patronage from President TAJANI for the event.

Stay ahead of the game by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

European Commission:

Directorates General:

Communication (COMM):
Directorate D – Resources: Philippe CATTOIR became Head of Unit, ‘Finance and Controls’, replacing Jakub PIEKUTOWSKI. Mr CATTOIR’s previous role was Head of Unit, ‘Media Monitoring and Analysis’, in Directorate A. This role has been temporarily filled by Maria Letizia ALBERGATI.

Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNNCT):
Tonnie DE KOSTER joined the DG as Adviser for 'Digital Single Market International Outreach', filling a vacant position.

International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO):
General coordination and inter-institutional relations unit: Philippe LATRICHE became Head of Unit replacing Carsten SORENSEN who was acting in the role. Mr LATRICHE was previously an Assistant to the Director-General.

Justice and Consumers (JUST):
Paul NEMITZ became Principal Adviser reporting directly to the Director-General. Mr NEMITZ was previously Director of Directorate C 'Fundamental rights and rule of law'. This position has been temporarily filled by Emmanuel CRABIT who is head of a unit in the directorate.

Shared Resource Directorate HOME/JUST: Donatella INEICHEN became acting Director and acting Head of Unit, 'Administrative expenditure', following the departure of Thierry CRETIN. Ms INEICHEN is also Head of Unit, 'Budget Control and Ex Post Audits'.

Spokesperson’s Service (SPP):
Trade: Kinga MALINOWSKA became Press Officer replacing Axel FOUGNER.

Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD):
Directorate C – Indirect Taxation and Tax Adminstration: Maria Elena SCOPPIO became Head of Unit, ‘Value Added Tax’, replacing Antonio VICTORIA SANCHEZ who was acting in the role. Prior to this appointment Ms SCOPPIO was an adviser in Commissioner MOSCOVICI’s cabinet.

Trade (TRADE):
Directorate B – Services and Investment, Intellectual Property and Public Procurement: Carlo PETTINATO became Head of Unit, ‘Investment’. He was previously deputy head and is being promoted in to a vacant role.

Want to know more? Click here for information on our Dods People EU service.

Missions to the EU:

On 7 April Council President, Donald TUSK, received the letters of credentials for the following Ambassadors:

Burkina Faso: Jacqueline Marie ZABA /NIKIEMA replaced the chargé d’affaires.


El Salvador: Julia Emma VILLATORO TARIO, was previously chargé d’affaires.

Mongolia: Od OCH replaced Khishigdelger DAVAADORJ.

Qatar: Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Sulaiman AL-KHULAIFI replaced Saoud Sultan AL-BINALI who was chargé d’affaires.


Legislative monitoring webinar:

Our EU and UK monitoring teams are joining forces to lead a Public Affairs Council webinar on April 27th. 

The free-to-register event will provide advice for government affairs professionals who want to uncover emerging European legislative and regulatory issues. Other issues to be discussed include: 

  • What are some of the best sources of information for legislative and regulatory tracking?
  • When to hire dedicated monitoring service providers
  • What’s the difference between political journalism and legislative monitoring?

For more details please click here.


Public affairs:

Got any new appointment you would like us to include in our next newsletter? Contact Ifigenia Balkoura!

European Builders Confederation (EBC): Eugenio QUINTIERI was selected as the new Secretary General, effective 13 June. He is currently senior policy advisor at the European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO) and spokesperson of the ESPO Delegation in the European Social Dialogue.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: In a surprise statement on 18 April, the British Prime Minister announced snap elections to be held on 8 June. Read the full text of the statement here.  Mrs. MAY, who decided to call an early general election when she was on a walking holiday in Wales, said that she is seeking a stronger mandate in talks over Brexit. On Wednesday 19 April, MPs backed by 522 to 13 in favour the move, kicking off a seven-week campaign.

Reacting to the news, first Scottish minister Nicola STURGEON said Theresa MAY had made a “huge political miscalculation” and she branded the decision as “one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history.” She also announced that she is willing to form a “progressive” coalition with Labour and the Lib Dems. However, Labour party leader Jeremy CORBYN has ruled out his party’s participation in such a coalition, as well as a second referendum on the final Brexit deal. Meanwhile, it won’t be eight time lucky for Ukip MEP Nigel FARAGE, who announced he would not be standing in the elections. FARAGE, who has unsuccessfully stood seven times to be an MP, said he preferred to keep his seat in the European Parliament and “use his profile in European politics to put real pressure on MEPs to vote for a sensible deal with the UK.” Prior to the announcement, he piled the pressure on the party’s leader Paul NUTTALL ahead of the general election by giving his successor just six weeks to “prove himself”.

Responding to the developments, several MPs, among them former chancellor George OSBORNE and Douglas CARSWELL announced that they will not be standing for re-election. Find out which MPs are standing and which are quitting in the list that Dods People team have prepared. Mrs. MAY confirmed that she will not participate in televised debates.

The news was welcomed in Brussels, with Donald TUSK saying that "the UK elections do not change our EU27 plans,” and Commission's Spokesperson Margaritis SCHINAS that "elections are good." Read more. Parliament's Brexit chief negotiator Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, BE) said that the upcoming UK general elections are a chance for Britons to show what EU relationship they want. Read more.

Elsewhere, Irish Taoiseach Enda KENNY organised a mini-summit in The Hague on Friday with his counterparts in the Netherlands and Denmark, the countries he says are the most adversely affected by Brexit. Read more.  High Representative Federica MOGHERINI said at a lecture in a university in Beijing that the UK will lose more than the EU from its decision to leave the bloc. Read more.

The two EU agencies that are UK based were also discussed this week, with Margaritis SCHINAS making it clear that it is a decision for the 27 to take and it will not be part of the Brexit negotiations and the EU will run a competition to relocate them. Previously, a spokesperson from the department for exiting the EU had said that this issue will be subject to the negotiations. Mark RUTTE sent a letter to Jean-Claude JUNCKER and Donald TUSK informing them about Netherlands' candidacy to host the European Medicines Agency in Amsterdam. 

On Thursday 20 April, European Parliament’s President Antonio TAJANI met Theresa MAY in London to discuss the parliament’s position on the withdrawal talks. TAJANI underlined the EU citizens’ rights as parliament’s core priority in the negotiations, saying that "for us it's important to ensure that Brexit does not have negative effects on their life and rights they are enjoying." He also invited Mrs. MAY to address the Parliament. Read more.

Jean-Claude JUNCKER will also visit London on 26 April on the invitation of the British prime minister, it was announced. He will be accompanied by the EU’s chief negotiator Michel BARNIER, his chief of staff Martin SELMAYR and his diplomatic advisor Richard SZOSTAK. According to a Commission’s spokesperson, JUNCKER considers that the real negotiations with the UK will start after the elections.

Bulgaria: A new coalition government between GERB and the United Patriots is expected to be formed by 6 May.

France: Pro-European Emmanuel MACRON came first in votes in the first round of the presidential elections held on Sunday 23 April. Former economy minister, MACRON will face far-right leader of the National Front, Marine LE PEN in the second round which will be held on 7 May. MACRON is now widely expected to enjoy a comfortable victory in the next round, following endorsements from FILLON and HAMON. A European Commission spokesperson tweeted that its President Jean-Claude JUNCKER had congratulated MACRON for his result at the first round and wished him good luck for the rest. JUNCKER’s comments are unusual, as the Commission usually avoids commenting on ongoing national elections. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel BARNIER, described MACRON as a "patriot and European" who he felt confident would win out in the run off round with Le Pen on 7 May. BARNIER added, "France must remain European". Read more.
Earlier last week, just a day before the end of the campaign, a terror attack took place in Champs Elysees, in which one policeman was killed and two were seriously injured. Read more.

Germany: The leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Frauke PETRY announced that she will not stand as lead candidate for the chancellorship in the elections that will take place on 24 September. The anti-immigration party selected Alexander GAULAND and Alice WEIDEL as its candidates for the upcoming elections.

Northern Ireland: The deadline to form a new power-sharing agreement was extended to 29 June.

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


EU Institutions
Share this page