Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: EP President says 12 plenary sessions will not happen in Strasbourg, meet the new S&D vice-president, plenary session highlights, the Office for Infrastructure and Logistics, Luxembourg gets a new Acting Director-General, the latest Commission, public affairs appointments and more!
It is looking increasingly more likely that the standard 12 plenary sittings will not be taking place in Strasbourg this year. While the EU Treaties stipulate that Parliament must hold 12 plenary sessions a year in Strasbourg, President David SASSOLI has told journalists "we won't have so many plenaries in the little time left this year." A decision is to be finalised at the beginning of June regarding the return to the French city.
Commission Recovery Fund: Commission President Ursula VON DER LEYEN addressed the Parliament on Wedsnesday, discussing the EU’s €750 billion recovery instrument that aims to help weather a possible recession brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is to be mostly made up of grants and tied to the 27 Member States’ common budget.
In reaction to the proposal, EPP Chair Manfred WEBER (DE) stressed the importance of clarity in determining how the money would be paid back.
Iratxe GARCÍA PÉREZ (ES), President of the S&D group urged the Council to adopt the new MFF by qualified majority to avoid keeping the EU “hostage by four member states that prefer a national response to a European one”.
Head of Renew Europe Dacian CIOLOŞ (RO) said “The MFF and the recovery plan must focus on the future”, with the Green deal and digital agenda as building blocks while Ska KELLER (Greens/EFA, DE) highlighted the “need to make sure that the money is well invested into projects that will help in the long term, create jobs and save the one planet that we have.”
Johan VAN OVERTVELDT (ECR, BE) said there must be safety mechanisms in place for our businesses. People working and saving should not have to “fork out” for these programmes”.
Co-chair of GUE/NGL Manon AUBRY (FR) vocalised her support for the new proposals on Own Resources and called for the crisis debt to be cancelled, for direct perpetual loans to member states, and for public support to be conditional on social considerations.
Vice-chair of ID Jörg MEUTHEN (DE) rejected the package proposal as “completely wrong and nonsense”, without a proper legal basis and lacking responsibility or economic sense.
EPP: Kris PEETERS (BE) will now represent the group in the UK Coordination Group (UKCG), the Parliament’s body which coordinates Parliament’s position on the future agreement between the EU and UK. PEETERS has said that the UK should only be able to “access our internal market if they guarantee a level playing field in such areas as social and environmental policy, tax, state aid and consumer protection”.
S&D: In its group meeting on Tuesday Marek BELKA (PL) was elected vice-president of the group. The former prime minister of Poland is currently a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee as well as the United States Delegation.
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Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Mikel LANDABASO ALVAREZ replaces Luis DELGADO SANCHO as Director of Directorate B (Growth & Innovation). The former was performing the role in an acting capacity.
Oliver WOLF replaces Luis DELGADO SANCHO as Head of Unit B5 (Circular Economy & Industrial Leadership) in an acting capacity.
Michael LUTZ replaces Alessandro ANNONI as Head of Unit B6 (Digital Economy) in an acting capacity.
Robert KOEBER replaces Stefanie TRAPMANN as Head of Unit F6 (Reference Materials). The former was performing the role in an acting capacity.
Lois BRETT replaces Francesco SCAFFIDI-ARGENTINA as Head of Unit R2 (Support Services Petten).
Paola PICCININI replaces Thomas BARBAS as Head of Unit H7 (Knowledge for Security & Migration). The former was performing the role in an acting capacity.
Francesco SCAFFIDI-ARGENTINA replaces Ray CRANDON as Head of Unit Dept. I (Logistics). The former was performing the role in an acting capacity.
Office for Infrastructure and Logistics – Luxembourg (OIL)
Thomas KIRCHNER replaces Marc BECQUET as Director in an acting capacity. KIRCHNER will alsoi continue in his role of Head of Unit, General Maintenance and Facility Management. BECQUET was appointed as Director at the Office for Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels in early April.
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Acumen Public Affairs
Several additions have been made to the senior management team. Max VON OLENHUSEN and Nikos MANARAS, currently a senior adviser and associate director at Acumen respectively, will be coming on board as partners. Founding partner Abigail JONES transitions to a new role as Head of Communications at IFPMA. Former European Parliament adviser, Matthew Hogarth, will join Acumen as an Account Manager.
European Association of Chemical Distributors (Fecc)
Fecc has become an accredited partner of the European Parliament’s newly formed intergroup ‘Sustainable, long-term Investments & Competitive European Industry’ for the legislative period 2019-2024. The intergroup, which was formally established in the middle of February offers a platform for exchange with political, industry and societal stakeholders to promote dialogue on the future of the industry and long-term investments in Europe.
The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic)
Cefic has also become an accredited partner of the European Parliament’s intergroup ‘Sustainable, long-term Investments & Competitive European Industry’ for the legislative period 2019-2024.
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Current polls show that incumbent President Andrzej DUDA is losing his lead ahead of upcoming elections at the end of June. The change comes after the opposition party Civic Platform (EPP) switched its candidate to Warsaw Mayor Rafał TRZASKOWSKI.
Małgorzata MANOWSKA has been appointed first president of the Polish Supreme Court by Andrzej DUDA. MANOWSKA has been director of the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution since 2016 and has been a member of the Supreme Court since 2018.