Movers and Shakers | 26 November 2018

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

26 Nov 2018

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: the new Polish MEP, latest appointments in the European Commission and public affairs, latest on the upcoming European elections, the launch of new projects under PESCO, the political situation in Sweden, Brexit and more.

European Parliament:

Bogusław SONIK (EPP, PL) officially replaced Bogdan Brunon WENTA on 20 November. He has previously served as an MEP from 2004 to 2014.


Interview with Anna Elżbieta FOTYGA (ECR, PL):

Anna Elżbieta FOTYGA talked to the Parliament Magazine about the threats Europe faces, the cooperation with NATO, fake news, artificial intelligence weapons and the defence relations with the UK post Brexit. Mrs FOTYGA has been an MEP since 2004 and is chair of the subcommittee on security and defence. Read the interview.


Get to know:

Julie GIRLING (EPP, UK) is the latest MEP to take part in the Parliament Magazine’s 5 questions. She has been an ECR MEP since 2009 and since February 2018 she is sitting as an EPP group member. She is member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and an agriculture and rural development MEP award winner in 2017. Get to know her better in 5 questions.


MEP Awards 2019: nominations are closing soon:

Nominations for the MEP Awards 2019 are open until Friday 7 December. Visit and recommend an MEP for an award today.

The Parliament Magazine unveiled the 2019 judging panel. Find out more about this year’s judges here.

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

European elections:

The European Greens held their Council from 23 to 25 November in Berlin, where they elected MEPs Ska KELLER (DE) and Bas EICKHOUT (NL) as their leading duo candidates and adopted their manifesto.


European Commission:

Commissioner Cabinets:
Cabinet of Corina Creţu:
Rastuslav PROPKOPIC is a new Member of the CREŢU cabinet.

Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC)
: Barbara NOLAN is no longer Head of Unit for Erasmus+ Coordination.  Her replacement is Sophie BEERNAERTS.
BEERNAERTS therefore departs as Acting Head of Unit for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.  The new Acting Head of Unit is Bodo RICHTER.

Latest news: At the High Level Conference on the fight against anti-Semitism in Europe on Wednesday, European Commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, Vĕra JOUROVÁ announced that the EU would join the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) as a permanent international partner. Commissioner JOUROVÁ tweeted that the Commission “is committed to fighting anti-Semitism in all its forms.”

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

Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defence (PESCO):

On 19 November, the Council adopted an updated list of projects to be undertaken under PESCO (the Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defence); with seventeen new projects being added to the seventeen formally adopted in March 2018. PESCO is an agreement to deepen defence cooperation between Member States; with the primary difference between it and other forms of defence integration being that legally binding commitments are made, with decisions made by the European Council. The 34 projects now approved vary from the establishment of a joint EU intelligence school, to the establishment of a European Medical Command to a co-basing policy, which would allow the shared use of national and overseas bases.  The council has published a fact sheet on PESCO, which is available here.


Public affairs:

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Citeo: Axel DARUT was appointed as EU affairs and Data advisor, replacing Alexandra LANGE.

European Federation of Cleaning Industries (EFCI): Isabel YGLESIAS is the new Director. She joined the Federation after seven years in different services of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition and practicing as competition lawyer. She rapidly recruited Marion MAZABRARD who is now Policy Advisor at EFCI after interning at the European Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The EFCI celebrated its thirtieth anniversary on the 22 November, and also presented its new identity and website.

German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA): Bernhard MATTES, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) since March 1, 2018, was confirmed in office for another two years mandate. Dieter ZETSCHE, Daniel BÖHMER and Arndt G. KIRCHHOFF were re-elected as Vice-Presidents.

PlasticsEurope: Javier CONSTANTE, Commercial Vice President, Packaging and Specialty Plastics Business EMEA of DOW Europe, has been nominated acting President. He succeeds Daniele FERRARI, CEO of Versalis (Eni), who was elected President of Cefic (the European Chemical Industry Council) at the end of October.

SEC S.p.A: announced the acquisition of a majority shareholding in French consultancy CLAI. Eric GIUILY and Elisabeth COUTUREAU, Directors of CLAI, will retain their roles leading CLAI, and will join the SEC Group Management Committee, comprising all the Managing Directors of SEC companies and chaired by Tom PARKER, Chairman of Cambre Associates, the Brussels-based agency focused on European advocacy and communications.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: On 22 November the European Commission published the political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK after the transition period which ends in December 2020. The declaration, which was agreed at negotiators’ level and in principle at political level was approved by the EU27 at the special European Council meeting on Sunday 25 November. EU Chief Negotiator Michel BARNIER said it's time for everybody to take responibility after he thanked his team and the British team. European Council President Donald TUSK said that "ahead of us is the difficult process of ratification as well as further negotiations. But regardless of how it will end, one thing is certain: we will remain friends until the end of days, and one day longer."

Before the European Council meeting:

Regarding Northern Ireland, the declaration includes provisions that “facilitative arrangements and technologies will also be considered in developing any alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing”.

Following the publication of the declaration, the UK Prime Minister gave a press conference where she said that the Brexit deal is “within our grasp”, while she insisted that she secured the right deal for the UK.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro SANCHEZ threatened to “veto Brexit” due to lack of clarity of what it means for Gibraltar., by saying on twitter that “after my conversation with Theresa MAY, our positions remain far away. My Government will always defend the interests of Spain. If there are no changes, we will veto Brexit.” MEPs representing Gibraltar slammed SANCHEZ’s last minute political posturing over the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry conference on Monday 19 November, Theresa MAY said that “EU workers would no longer be able to "jump the queue" after Brexit”. Scottish First Minister Nicola STURGEON branding them as "disgraceful".  European Parliament’s Chief Negotiator Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, BE) reacted angrily, by saying that “EU citizens living, working, contributing to UK communities didn't "jump the queue" and neither did UK nationals in Europe. They were exercising rights which provided freedom and opportunities. We will fight to ensure these continue in the future, especially after any transition.”

Following the resignation of Dominic RAAB, Theresa MAY appointed Steve BARCLAY, as the new Brexit Secretary. BARCLAY was previously minister for health. Kwasi KWARTENG replaced Suella BRAVERMAN as Brexit Minister.

Meanwhile, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir STARMER, said that Labour party will work with the other parties to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal, ahead of a crunch vote in the House of Commons next month. 

UK MEPs Catherine STIHLER (S&D) and Charles TANNOCK (ECR) have warned that Theresa MAY’s Brexit withdrawal deal could create a constitutional crisis if, as expected, it’s rejected by the UK parliament. The Parliament Magazine organised a discussion with EU40 about Brexit. Seb DANCE (S&D, UK), Charles TANNOCK (ECR, UK) and Fredrick FEDERLEY (ALDE, SE) talked about among other things about the current state of Brexit, a second referendum and Theresa MAY’s options. Watch the video.  

Sweden: The Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Andreas NORLÉN will nominate the Social Democrat leader and current caretaker Prime Minister Stefan LÖFVEN as the country's new Prime Minister on 3 December with a parliamentary vote expected on 6 December.

Read the most recent articles written by Ifigenia Balkoura - Movers and Shakers | 19 November 2018