Movers and Shakers | 26 July 2019

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

By Dods people EU

26 Jul 2019

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: A familiar face at the helm of the Conference of Committee Chairs, CULT and AGRI Parliament Committees elect vice-chairs, the next EU Commission takes shape with 18 official nominations, Juncker's chief of staff departs the Commission, the Croation cabinet reshuffle, and much more!

European Parliament

Committees and Delegations

Conference of Committee Chairs
Former Parliament president and chair of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO), Antonio TAJANI (EPP, IT) was elected as chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs, a body consisting of the chairs of all the standing and temporary committees of the Parliament.

Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI)
The two remaining vice-chairs were elected on Tuesday. Mazaly AGUILAR (ECR, ES) was elected third vice-chair while Elsi KATAINEN (RE, FI) was elected fourth vice-chair.

Culture and Education (CULT)
Julie WARD (S&D, UK), was elected third vice-chair. Election of fourth vice-chair is postponed for the September meeting.

Outgoing Members

It is with sadness that we report the passing of MEP André BRADFORD (S&D, PT) who passed away at the end of last week.  BRADFORD had been hospitalized earlier in the month following a cardiac arrest.

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European Commission

Commissioner nominations
The number of official nominations to the next Commission is now at eighteen.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister of Malta Joseph MUSCAT, nominated Helena DALLI as EU Commission member. DALLI will be the first female Maltese nominee and will immediately resign from her ministerial post as EU affairs and equality minister. She will replace outgoing Commissioner Karmenu VELLA.

Mariya GABRIEL has been nominated to serve a second term as Bulgaria’s Commissioner. Prime Minister Boyko BORISSOV said a few weeks ago that he wanted the Bulgarian Commissioner to have “a proper role”, including the Digital role that GABRIEL already has.

Poland have nominated Krzysztof SZCZERSKI to be their Commissioner in the new College of Commissioners, with Prime Minister Mateusz MORAWIECKI saying that it was a decision taken in consultation with Commission President-Elect Ursula VON DER LEYEN.

President of Cyprus, Nicos ANASTASIADES has put forward the name of Democratic Rally (EPP) vice-president and MP Stella KYRIAKIDES for the new European Commission. Cyprus’ Commissioner in the outgoing Commission is Christos STYLIANIDES who holds the Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management portfolio.

New UK Prime Minister Boris JOHNSON has announced that he does not plan to nominate anyone to serve in the next European Commission, due to his pledge to leave the EU, with or without a deal, on 31 October. If Brexit is further delayed, the UK would need to nominate a Commissioner.


Agriculture (DG AGRI)
Ico VON WEDEL has been appointed as an Advisor for Strategic Performance Reporting, Outreach and Public Procurement for the Deputy Director-General responsible for Directorates G, H and I filling a vacant position.

Budget (DG BUDG)
Andras SCHWARZ will formally take over the position of Director of Directorate B (Revenue and Multiannual financial framework) on 1 August, after formerly being Acting Director.

Climate Action (DG CLIMA)
Dušan CHRENEK has been appointed Principal Advisor, replacing Jacob WERKSMAN.

Communications (DG COMM)
Lene NAESAGER has been appointed Director of Directorate A (Political Communication and Services), replacing former Acting Director Nathalie DAVIES.

Richard KÜHNEL will take over the position of Director of Directorate C (Representation and Communication in Member States) on 1 September, replacing Sixtine BOUYGUES.

Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN)
Two units have changed the Directorate that they are under while retaining their current Head of Units. The former Directorate E1 (Czech Republic, Malta, Poland, Slovakia) has become Unit G1 with Ana XAVIER remaining Head of Unit, while the former Unit G1 (Belgium, France, Luxembourg) has become Unit E1 with Javier YANIZ IGAL remaining Head of Unit.

Human Resources and Security (DG HR)
Georgeta NICOLAIE has been appointed Director of Directorate IDOC (Investigation and Disciplinary Office of the Commission) and will take up the position on 1 August, with Karen WILLIAMS departing.

Internal Audit Service (IAS)
Cosmin-Catalin NEGUT departs as Head of Unit B4 (Central Services and Offices) with Elena CLIMENT VAÑÓ taking over the position.

International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO)
Koen DOENS will take over the post of Director General of DG DEVCO on 1 October, replacing current Director General Stefano MANSERVISI.

Secretariat General (DG SG)
Martin SELMAYR has departed from the position of Secretary General of the European Commission, with Ilze JUHANSONE becoming Acting Secretary General. SELMAYR will head the EU representation to Austria from November and will serve as a temporary Hors Classe Advisor until that date.

JUHANSONE shall therefore depart from the position of Acting Director of Directorate H (External Relations) with Michael KARNITSCHNIG taking over the post from 1 August. KARNITSCHNIG is currently Head of the Cabinet of Commissioner Johannes HAHN.

Jivka PETKOVA shall become Director of Directorate A (Strategy, Better Regulation and Corporate Governance) on 1 August replacing current Director Pascal LEARDINI.

Spokesperson Service
Mina ANDREEVA has been appointed as Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission, replacing Margaritis SCHINAS, who departs after being nominated as the Greek representative on the next European Commission.

Commissioner Cabinets

Cabinet of Margrethe VESTAGER
Claes BENGTSSON has been appointed to the post of Head of Cabinet, replacing the departing Ditte JUUL-JØRGENSEN. BENGTSSON therefore leaves his current Cabinet portfolios behind, with Penelope PAPANDROPOULOS becoming a Cabinet Member and taking over those briefs.

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Public Affairs

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National News

There has been a reshuffle of the Croatian cabinet, with new appointees being approved in an extraordinary session of Parliament last Friday. Ivan MALENICA has been appointed the new Minister for Public Administration, Vesna BEDEKOVIĆ is the new Minister for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy; Marija VUČKOVIĆ has been appointed Minister for Agriculture, Gordan GRLIĆ-RADMAN is the new Minister for Foreign and European Affairs; Mario BANOŽIĆ was appointed as Minister for State Property, Josip ALARDOVIĆ has been appointed as Minister for Labour and the Pension System and Marko PAVIĆ is the new Minister for Regional Development and European Union Funds. Additionally, current Interior Minister Davor BOŽINOVIĆ and Finance Minister Zoran MARIĆ were confirmed as Deputy Prime Ministers, with both retaining their current portfolios.

Alessandra LOCATELLI has been appointed to the cabinet post of Minister for Disabilities and the Family replacing Lorenzo FORTANA.

Nauris PUNTULIS has been appointed as Culture Minister, filling the vacancy left by Dace MELBĀRDE after her election to the European Parliament.

As mentioned above, Helena DALLI has resigned from the position as Minister for European Affairs and Equality. Her replacement is Edward ZAMMIT LEWIS.

Nicolae MOGA has been nominated as Minister for Internal Affairs, and Ramona-Nicole MĂNESCU has been appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs.

After failing to get enough support in Parliament to be reappointed Prime Minister on Tuesday, Socialist Worker’s Party (S&D) leader Pedro SÁNCHEZ failed again to secure enough support in a second vote held on Thursday. SÁNCHEZ has two months left to form an administration before fresh elections must be called for November, with these votes ensuring that Spain will not have a permanent government until after the summer.

United Kingdom
Boris JOHNSON was elected as Conservative Party (ECR) leader, receiving 66.4% of the vote in a ballot of Conservative Party members with rival Jeremy HUNT getting 33.6%. He was officially appointed as Prime Minister on Wednesday following the resignation of Theresa MAY. This led to a major reshuffle of the British government, with many prominent figures from the May administration who had supported JOHNSON’s rivals for the party leadership being removed from government. Follow all the latest announcements on cabinet appointments as our friends at PoliticsHome track the reshuffle.


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