Movers and Shakers | 25 September 2017

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

25 Sep 2017

Today's Movers & Shakers are about:  the new MEPs who joined the Parliament,  latest moves in the Commissioners' cabinets and in the Commission's DGs, public affairs appointments, the German elections, Brexit and more.


European Parliament:

Răzvan POPA (S&D, RO) joined the Parliament, replacing Victor Negrescu who was appointed as Romania’s Europe minister.

Lívia JÁRÓKA (EPP, HU) replaced Ildikó GÁLL-PELCZ. Ms JÁRÓKA previously served as an MEP from 2009 to 2014.

Jiří PAYNE (EFDD, CZ) joined as member, replacing Petr MACH.

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Political groups:
Europe of Nations and Freedom Group:

Nicolas BAY (FR) became co-chair of the group, replacing Marine LEP PEN (FR).

National parties:
National front (FR, ENF):
Florian PHILIPPOT and Sophie MONTEL quit the party, but it is not clear yet whether they will also defect from the ENF group.

Composition of the committees and the delegations:

Pascal ARIMONT (EPP, BE) switched from substitute to member of the committee on the internal market and consumer protection (IMCO).

Baroness Nosheena MOBARIK CBE (ECR, UK) joined the committee on the internal market and consumer protection (IMCO), replacing John FLACK (ECR, UK).          

Dennis RADTKE (EPP, DE) joined the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE).

András GYÜRK (EPP, HU) left the committee on foreign affairs (AFET) and joined the committee on the internal market and consumer protection (IMCO).

Andrea BOCSKOR (EPP, HU) left the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE) and joined the committee on foreign affairs (AFET).

Tamás DEUTSCH (EPP, HU) joined the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE), replacing Fulvio MARTUSCIELLO (EPP, IT).

Josep-Maria TERRICABRAS (S&D, ES) joined the special committee on terrorism (TERR).

Baroness Nosheena MOBARIK CBE (ECR, UK) joined the committee on fisheries (PECH), replacing Julie GIRLING (ECR, UK).

Eva JOLY (Greens/EFA, FR) joined the special committee on terrorism (TERR).


European Commission:

NEW: Border Focal Point:
On 20 September the Commission announced the creation of a new expert group that will support the EU’s border regions. The group will bring together Commission experts in cross border issues to share best practice and offer advice national and regional authorities, as well as a new online network. The aim is to make it easier for individuals and businesses to operate across borders, both economically and societally. The Border Focal Point will be operational as of January 2018.

Cabinet of Federica MOGHERINI
: Jani TAIVALANTTI joined the cabinet taking responsibility for areas including Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia and the OSCE.

Cabinet of Julian KING: Jack SCHICKLER joined the cabinet as a member with responsibility for communications. He replaced David SHARROCK.

Cabinet of Jyrki KATAINEN: Xavier COGNET joined the cabinet with responsibility for Trade, Economic Diplomacy and International Affairs. He replaces former cabinet expert Edward BANNERMAN.

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

Directorates General
Budget (BUDG):

Directorate A – Expenditure: Katrina MORRIS became Head of Unit ‘External Policies’ replacing Lars Jorgen MAGNUSSON who was acting in the role.

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN):
Directorate D – International economic and financial relations, global governance: Santiago LORANCA GARCIA became Head of Unit ‘Neighbourhood countries – Macrofinancial assistance’ replacing Heliodoro TEMPRANO ARROYO who moved to Directorate F to become an Adviser. Elena FLORES moves into Mr LORANCA GARCIA’s previous role becoming acting Head of ‘IMF and G-Groups’.
Directorate R – Resources: Jean Jacques CAVEZ became Head of Unit ‘Management of IT resources’ replacing Tomek PIETRZAK who moved into Mr CAVEZ’s previous role as Head of ‘Technologies’ in DG COMM.

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW):
Julien GUERRIER became Principal Adviser. He moved from the Commission’s Secretariat-General where he was Head of Unit ‘Corporate Management, Budget and Administration’, which now has Pascal LEARDINI acting in the role.


Committee of the Regions (CoR):

Environment, climate change and energy (ENVE):

Cor LAMERS (EPP, NL) was elected as the new chair, replacing Francesco PIGLIARU (PES, IT). Roby BIWER (PES, LU) was elected first vice-chair.

Economic policy (ECON):
Michel DELEBARRE (PES, FR) was elected as chair, replacing Christian BUCHMAN (EPP, AT). Arnoldas ABRAMAVIČIUS (EPP, LT) and Rob JONKMAN (ECR, NL) were elected as first and second vice-chairs respectively.


Public affairs:

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New! Federation of European Social Employers (FESE): the new federation will be launched on 20 October, when it will present the sector’s objectives and interests and exchange views with a broad range of stakeholders.

Human Society International/Europe: Ruud TOMBROCK joined the team as executive director.

Sidley Austin LLP: Former U.S. Ambassador Anthony GARDNER joins the firm as senior counsel. As a member of both the international trade and privacy and cybersecurity practices, Mr GARNER will be splitting his time between London and Brussels offices.  

spiritsEUROPE: Paul SKEHAN announced he is stepping down as Director General. He will join PepsiCo as their senior director, public policy government affairs and communications.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: Last week kicked off with the resignation of a top Brexit official. Oliver ROBBINS, Permanent Secretary at the department for exiting the EU, quit after a year in the role. He was appointed as EU adviser to the prime minister in the cabinet office, in addition to his role as EU Sherpa.

Previously, foreign secretary and prominent Brexit campaigner Boris JOHNSON sparked anger among the Conservative MPs with his 4,000 word article in the Daily Telegraph setting out his Brexit vision. The move was widely perceived as a leadership bid and was slapped down by Theresa MAY, who insisted that the Government is being “driven from the front”. 

European Parliament chief negotiator Guy VERHOFSTADT visited Belfast last week, where he met with political leaders. He said that a workable solution on the borders is needed and suggested that Northern Ireland could stay in the single market.

In Scotland, first minister Nicola STURGEON, in a surprise move said that she doesn’t know when there will be a second independence referendum and added “I'm saying, OK, people are not ready to decide we will do that, so we have to come back when things are clearer and decide whether we want to do it and in what timescale."

Speaking in the Italian parliament’s foreign and European affairs committees on Thursday, EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER reiterated that the clock is ticking as the UK has only one year left to get a Brexit deal. BARNIER pointed out the importance of trust, while speaking about the financial settlement, saying “beyond money, this is a question of trust between the 27 and the United Kingdom, based on the respect of one's signature. And everyone knows that we will need this trust to create a solid relationship in the future.” Read more.

On Friday 22 September, Theresa MAY delivered her speech on Brexit in Florence, where she proposed a two-year implementation period during a two-year transition agreement after Brexit to overcome the stalemate in the negotiations. Read more. She also insisted that the UK will continue to work with the EU on security, a major climbdown after threatening to withdraw co-operation six months ago. Read the MEPs reactions. EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER gave a cautious welcome to May’s Florence speech and said the speech showed a willingness to move forward, "as time is of the essence." Read more.

Germany: Angela MERKEL won 33 per cent of the votes in Sunday’s election and secured a fourth term as Chancellor. Her CDU/CSU alliance remains the largest group in the Bundestag, but recorded its worse results in 70 years after suffering substantial losses. The Social Democratic party of the former European Parliament president Martin SCHULZ came second with 21 per cent. The anti-immigration AfD came third with 12.6 per cent.

If you want to know more about the federal election and stay ahead of the political developments in Germany, please contact David Schoibl.

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


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