Movers and Shakers | 26 March 2018

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

26 Mar 2018

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: the MEP Awards, the elections of the new special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and avoidance, latest appointments in the European Commission and public affairs, the Parliament Magazine's interview with the Bulgarian Prime Minister, the new Slovakian government, Brexit and more. 


European Parliament:

Dobromir SOŚNIERZ (NA, PL) joined the Parliament as member, replacing Janusz KORWIN-MIKKE.

Following the Italian elections the following MEPs have now left their seats: Gianni PITTELLA (S&D), Lorenzo FONTANA (ENF) and Matteo SALVINI (ENF).

MEP news:
Special committee on terrorism visit in Zaventem airport:
A 17-member high-level group of MEPs from the TERR committee visited Zaventem airport, which was the scene of one of the 22 March 2016 attacks. The group, led by committee Chair Nathalie GRIESBECK (ALDE, FR), met with the CEO of Brussels Airport Company, representatives of the Belgian Federal Ministry of Mobility and Transport and Brussels National Airport Customs and Federal Police, who briefed them on security measures taken after the attacks.

Political groups:
S&D group:
Udo BULLMANN was elected as the new leader of the group. The veteran German received 86 votes compared with 61 for Belgian deputy Kathleen VAN BREMPT. BULLMANN, aged 61, replaces Gianni PITTELLA, an Italian member who had led the group since July 2014 but stood down to contest the recent Italian elections. BULLMANN has been an MEP since 1999.

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Composition of the committees and delegations:
Special committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3):
The constituent meeting of the committee was held on 22 March, when it elected its chair and vice-chairs as follow:
Chair: Petr JEŽEK (ALDE, CZ)
1st Vice-Chair: Roberts ZĪLE (ECR, LV)
2nd Vice-Chair: Eva JOLY (Greens/EFA, IT)
3rd Vice-Chair : Esther DE LANGE (EPP, NL)
4th Vice-Chair: Ana GOMES (S&D, PT)

Caroline NAGTEGAAL (ALDE, NL) was elected as Vice-Chair of the delegation for relations with India.

Michel REIMON (Greens/EFA, AT) left the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE).
Heidi HAUTALA (Greens/EFA, FI) switched from substitute to member of the committee on legal affairs (JURI).
Julia REDA (Greens/EFA, DE) joined the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE).
Ana MIRANDA (Greens/EFA, ES) joined the committee on petitions (PETI).

Peter JAHR (EPP, DE) left the committee on budgetary control (CONT).
Traian UNGUREANU (EPP, RO) joined the delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula (D-ARP).
Cristian-Silviu BUŞOI (EPP, RO) joined the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI).
Julie GIRLING (EPP, UK) joined the committee on agriculture and rural affairs (AGRI).
Nosheena MOBARIK (ECR, UK) joined the committee on women's rights and gender equality (FEMM).
Pascal DURAND (Greens/EFA, FR) left the delegation for relations with Mercosur (D-MER).
Josep-Maria TERRICABRAS (Greens/EFA, ES) switched from member to substitute of the committee on petitions (PETI).
Ana MIRANDA (Greens/EFA, ES) joined the committee on economic and monetary affairs (ECON), the committee on fisheries (PECH), the delegation to the Euro-Latin American parliamentary assembly (D-LAT), the delegation for relations with Mercosur (D-MER) and switched from member to substitute of the committee on legal affairs (JURI).

Get to know:

Peter KOUROUMBASHEV (S&D, BU) in 5 questions.
Mr KOUROUMBASHEV has been an MEP since January 2017. He is Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (D-ME) and this year's MEP Awards winner in Transport.  He was also shortlisted in the category of New Technologies, in which he is very active in.


MEP Awards 2018:

MEPs were once again recognised for their hard work at the 14th annual MEP awards, which took place on Wednesday night in Brussels' Concert Noble.

The ceremony was hosted by Greek S&D group member Eva KAILI, who also took home the New Technologies award.

In total 19 MEPs were rewarded, including the host in the new technologies category. Read a word from the winners and see the highlights of the ceremony.


The Parliament Magazine's Bulgarian Presidency Reception:

The Parliament Magazine is proud to organise the Bulgarian Council Presidency Reception, kindly hosted by Vladimir URUTCHEV (EPP) MEP. 

The reception will be held on Tuesday 27 March, 17:30 - 20:00 in the European Parliament Members' Restaurant with a key note speech by Lilyana PAVLOVA, minister of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The reception will highlight Bulgaria’s achievements in the field of entrepreneurship, innovation and digitalisation, and the policies that are needed to equip citizens with the education, skills and training they need to embrace technological innovations and the jobs of the future. 

For further information and to register your interest, please contact the events team: | +44 20 7593 5672 ​


Launch of Atlas Programme:

MEPs Cristian BUŞOI (EPP, RO) and José Inácio FARIA (EPP, POl) and the Parliament Magazine are hosting the launch of the ATLAS Programme, aimed to improve standards of care for chronic intestinal failure (chronic IF), on Wednesday 28 March from 12:30 to 14:30 in the European Parliament Member’s Salon.

The ATLAS Programme is led by a steering group comprised of experts in chronic IF including representation from patients, physicians and policymakers. The group is committed to ensuring that chronic IF care of a high standard is a priority in European healthcare systems.  The ATLAS programme, of which this event is a part, was initiated and is facilitated and funded by Shire International GmbH.

The ATLAS launch event, will be a key milestone for the chronic IF community. Drawing upon expert speakers from across the patient journey, the event will introduce policymakers and other stakeholders to the issues faced people with chronic IF and pioneer the course of chronic IF care across Europe.

For further information and to register your interest, please contact the events team: | +44 20 7593 5672


European Commission:

Commissioners’ cabinets:
Jyrki KATAINEN team:
Risto ARTJOKI became the new head of cabinet, replacing Juho ROMAKKANIEMI.

Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC):

Directorate B- Youth, Education and Erasmus +: Vanessa DEBIAUS-SAINTON was appointed as acting Head of Unit, Higher Education.

Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG (EMPL):
Directorate F – Investment: Anne GRISARD was appointed as Director, replacing Andriana SUKOVA, who became Deputy Director-General of the DG.

Health and Food Safety (SANTE):
Directorate F – Health and Food Audits and Analysis: John Mc EVOY was appointed as head of Unit, Feed, Imports and Exports, a position that was previously vacant.

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

European Central Bank (ECB):

The European Council appointed the Spanish finance minister Luis DE GUIDOS as Vice-President for an eight-year term to replace Vítor CONSTÂNCIO as of 1 June.


Interview with Boyko BORISSOV, Prime Minister of Bulgaria:

Midway through Bulgaria’s demanding EU Council presidency, Prime Minister Boyko BORISSOV took some time out to talk to the Parliament Magazine about why future Western Balkans accession is important for the security and prosperity of all Europeans. Read the interview.


Public affairs:

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

Delloite LLP: Europol Executive Director, Rob WAINWRIGHT will take up a new role in June, leading the company’s cybersecurity practise.

European Association for Coal and Lignite (EURACOAL): Tomasz ROGALA was appointed as the new President, replacing Wolfgang CIESLIK. Vladimír BUDINSKÝ was appointed as first Vice-President, Wolfgang CIESLIK as Senior Vice-President. Lars KULIK and Radosław RASAŁA were appointed as Vice-Presidents.

European Audiovisual Observatory: Elena LAI, Secretary-General of the European Coordination of Independent Producers (CEPI) was elected as the new chair of the of the Advisory Committee as of 1 January 2019.

SolarPower Europe: Alison FINCH (Huawei Technologies), Marcus MUELLER (Tesla Inc), Patrick MONINO (ENI SpA), Alexander Peter NAUJOKS (SMA Solar Technology AG) and Gerald MUELLER (LONGi Solar) were elected as directors of the Board.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: On Monday 19 March the EU and the UK agreed a “large part” of a political agreement including the citizens’ rights, the financial agreement and the transitional period. Negotiators Michel BARNIER and David DAVIS said the deal on the “implementation period” was a "decisive step" in the Brexit process. However, more needs to be agreed on important issues, such as Ireland and Northern Ireland.

On the citizens’ rights, EU and UK nationals who arrive in the UK and the EU during the transition period will enjoy the same rights as those who have arrived before Brexit.

During the transition period the UK will not be able to participate in the EU decision-making process of the EU. However, the rights and the benefits of the EU single market, the customs union and the EU policies will still be in force.

Regarding the Irish borders, Michel BARNIER repeated that a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland should be avoided. Northern Ireland will be will remain in the customs union, as a backstop option, until another solution is found.

The EU and the UK will be working on other issues, such as data protection, nuclear issues, protection of European trademarks, movement of goods and customs procedures.

Citizens’ right will be discussed on Wednesday 28 March in the European Parliament. Article 32 - which deals directly with citizens’ rights - was missing from the text agreed and unveiled by Michel BARNIER and David DAVIS, prompting consternation, as references to Article 32 still appear in the rest of the text.

During the EU summit, the leaders of the EU27 officially signed off on the Brexit transitional deal, and approved the EU negotiating guidelines on the future UK-EU relationship. EU Council president Donald TUSK commented that the transition phase will allow to delay all the negative consequences of Brexit by 21 months.

The summit was partly overshadowed by the UK’s escalating diplomatic row with Russia, with the EU agreeing to withdraw its ambassador from Moscow. On Friday 23 March, the EU ambassador to Russia was recalled to Brussels. The EU27 also agreed with the UK government that it was highly likely Russia is responsible for the Salisbury attack and that there is no other plausible explanation. The EU leaders have backed Theresa MAY's stance on Russia, as it emerged that several other countries plan to follow her lead by expelling Moscow diplomats in an attempt to dismantle their spy network.

Earlier this week, the UK Government was defeated twice in the House of Lords over its plans around nuclear cooperation with the EU post-Brexit.

According to a new report compiled by the Committee of the Regions and EUROCHAMBRES, the “uncertaintythat is surrounding the nature of the future EU-UK relationship “complicates the process of adjustment” for many EU regions when the UK exits the EU.  The findings of the report were released on Tuesday in Brussels, a day after the EU and UK announced that a draft withdrawal deal between the two sides had been agreed and summarises the expected economic and social effects and the impact on public administrations.

European elections: The Council agreed with Parliament’s proposal for the next European elections to be held on 23-26 May 2019. The official decision is expected to be adopted before the end of June.

2nd Anniversary of the Brussels attacks: 22 March marked the 2nd anniversary of the terror attack in Brussels that killed 32 people and and the first anniversary of the Westminster Bridge attack in London. European security union commissioner Sir Julian KING has called for a “significant” investment in de-radicalisation, disengagement and rehabilitation programmes.

Slovakia: President Andrej KISKA appointed Peter PELLEGRINI as the new Prime Minister, following the resignation of Robert FICO. Miroslav LAJČÁK remained as minister for foreign and European affairs and Peter KAŽIMÍR as finance minister 


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

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