Movers and Shakers | 30 October 2020

Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our Movers and Shakers column.

By Mia Bartoloni

Mia Bartoloni is the Editor of Dods People EU and the European Public Affairs Directory (EPAD)

30 Oct 2020

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: Chair and vice-chair of IMCO committee elected, AFET committee finally elects its vice-chairs, head of Commission’s Recovery and Resilience Taskforce appointed, highlights from EESC plenary, the latest Commission appointments, and more!

European Parliament

Committees and Delegations

Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET)
On Monday, the committee elected the second, third and fourth vice-chairs by acclamation. Urmas Paet (RE, EE) is second vice-chair, while Sergei Stanishev (S&D, BG) is third vice-chair and Željana Zovko (EPP, HR) has been elected fourth vice-chair.

Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO)
Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA, DE) is the new chair of the committee, succeeding Petra de Sutter who took up a role in the new Belgian government as deputy prime minister. In response to her election, Cavazzini has said that she will guide the committee as a “central place for political discourse on the challenges of the green and digital transformation and to seek an exchange of views with stakeholders and citizens and to strengthen confidence in the EU through a high level of consumer protection."
At the same meeting Andrus Ansip (RE, EE) was elected first vice-chair.

Special Committee on foreign interference in all democratic processes in the European Union, including disinformation (INGE)
The new vice-chairs of the committee have been elected by acclamation. Morten Løkkegaard (RE, DK) is the new second vice-chair, Dace Melbārde (ECR, LV) is the third vice-chair and Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (S&D, PL) is the fourth vice-chair.

European Commission

Directorates-General and Services

Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI)
Daniela Ciobanu replaces Horea-Silviu Todoran as head of unit H1 (Competency centre for assurance and audit).

Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS)
Pierre Delsaux takes on the role of director of directorate B (Development and Innovation) in an acting capacity in addition to his role as deputy director-general.
Giancarlo Granero replaces Dinka Dinkova as head of unit B3 (International Relations and Communication). Dinkova had been performing the role in an acting capacity as well as her duties as deputy head of unit.

Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC)
Federica Borella replaces Ulrich Sondermann as head of unit R1 (Organisational Performance and Legal Affairs.

Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL)
Ruth Paserman (IT) has been appointed as director. Paserman is currently a Member of the Cabinet of executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis. The date of effect is yet to be determined

Informatics (DIGIT)
Christopher Borrelly has replaced Isabelle Krauss as head of unit A1 (Customers, Communication & Governance) in an acting capacity as well as his duties as deputy head of unit.

Secretariat –General (SG)
Céline Gauer (FR) has been appointed the new director-general of the Recovery and Resilience Task Force (RECOVER), responsible for steering the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to help the EU emerge from the coronavirus crisis. Gauer is currently deputy secretary-general for policy coordination as well as for the European Semester in the Secretariat-General.
Johannes Luebking (DE) has been appointed as principal adviser and European Semester coordinator in the same task force. Luebking is currently the head of unit for Antitrust, Energy and Environment in the Directorate-General for Competition (COMP).
Flaminia Bussacchini (FR) has been appointed to the function of commission mediator, a role which has been upgraded to senior management level.
The date of effect of the above three appointments is yet to be determined.

Other EU Institutions and Agencies

Court of Justice – General Court
Slovenian Klemen Podobnik, nominated by his country to one of the two Slovenian spots at the General Court in Luxembourg, has been rejected by the Brussels committee vetting candidates. Slovenia currently has no judge representing at the court and the call for applications will have to be repeated.

This week at the inaugural plenary session Christa Schweng (AT) was elected the 33rd president. Two new vice-presidents were also elected to join Schweng at the helm of the EESC - Giulia Barbucci (IT) will serve as vice-president for budget and Cillian Lohan (IE) as vice-president for communication.

Schweng has been with the EESC for 22 years, focusing on employment and social affairs in her work, as a member of the Employers' Group. She is the outgoing president of the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship and chaired the section's Labour Market Observatory from 2013 to 2015.

The Group presidents for new term of office were also elected at the plenary session. The new Group presidents are:

  • Employers Group (Group I): Stefano Mallia (MT)
  • Workers Group (Group II): Oliver Röpke (AT)
  • Diversity Europe Group (Group III): Séamus Boland (IE)
Public Affairs

HOTREC, the umbrella association of hotels, restaurants and cafés in Europe
Jens Zimmer Christensen has been reelected as president while Marc Van Muylders has been reelected as vice-president and Adrian Cummins as treasurer.

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National News

Czech Republic
Following the resignation of Roman Prymula as minister for health, president Miloš Zeman has appointed Jan Blatný as his successor. Blatný is a paediatric haematologist and head of the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Biochemistry and the Medical Deputy for the Children’s Hospital in Brno. Prymula was forced to step down after breaking lockdown restrictions.

In the second round of parliamentary elections, concluded on Monday, the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (EPP) came in first securing 50 seats out of the parliament’s 141. The Farmers and Greens Union fell short with 32 seats. The Homeland Union are now in talks to form a coalition with the Liberal Movement (ALDE) and the Freedom Party (ALDE).

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Read the most recent articles written by Mia Bartoloni - Movers and Shakers | 27 November 2020


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