Movers and Shakers | 4 December 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)

04 Dec 2020

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: Hungarian MEP resigns amid lockdown party scandal, Tomas Tobé appointed rapporteur to negotiate the replacement of the Dublin Regulation, former Danish prime minister is favourite to lead Conference on the Future of Europe, the new Slovak Permanent Representative, the latest Commission, public affairs appointments, and more!

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European Parliament

Committees and Delegations

Colm Markey (EPP, IE) joins the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN), Fisheries Committee (PECH) and the Mercosur Delegation (D-MER).
Deirdre Clune (EPP, IE) leaves the Transport and Tourism Committee and joins the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) and Human Rights Sub-committee (DROI).
Maria Walsh (EPP, IE) and Javier Zarzalejos (EPP, ES) leave the Fisheries Committee (PECH).
Seán Kelly (EPP, IE) leaves the Human Rights Sub-committee and joins the Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO).

Political Groups

Tomas Tobé (EPP, SE) has been appointed rapporteur on Asylum and Migration Regulation. The group’s negotiators on the other parts of the law package will be Lena Düpont on the new law establishing a common border procedure for international protection, Karlo Ressler on the law ruling the handling of fingerprints, Eliza Vozemberg-Vrionidi on the new law setting up a solidarity mechanism in case of a crisis situation, and Juan Zoido on the new law for the screening of third country nationals at the EU external borders.

National parties
Four Italian MEPs, Ignazio Corrao (NI, IT), Eleonora Evi (NI, IT), Piernicola Pedicini (NI, IT), and Rosa D’Amato (NI, IT), have decided to leave the Five Star Movement delegation over a dispute concerning the approval of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). They intend to remain Non-attached (NI) members as an informal ‘ecologist’ fraction for an initial period before a possible transition to the Greens/EFA group in Parliament.

Hungarian MEP József Szájer (EPP) has resigned after violating COVID-19 health restrictions while attending a private party in Brussels. Szájer had initially announced, without warning, his resignation effective from the beginning of the new year but did not provide a reason other than that the daily political struggle had been “an increasing mental strain” on him for some time. It has now emerged that the close ally of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán had been apprehended during a police raid on a central Brussel’s bar along with more than 20 others. The MEP has issued a statement in which he says he “deeply regrets” the incident which he calls a “mis-step.”

Szájer is one of the founding members of the Hungarian party Fidesz. He served four terms in the Hungarian parliament, before moving on to the European Parliament in 2004, the year Hungary joined the EU. He has participated in every legislature since and from 2009 until 2019 served as chief whip and vice-chair of the European People’s Party.

European Commission

Directorates-General and Services

European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
Hans Das replaces Ilkka Salmi as director of directorate A (Emergency Management and rescEU). Salmi had been performing the role in an acting capacity in addition to his role as director of directorate B (Disaster Preparedness and Prevention).

Health and Food Safety (SANTE)
Stefan Schreck leaves their role as head of unit C1 (Health promotion, disease prevention, financial instruments) leaving a vacant position. Schreck becomes adviser for stakeholder relations in the same directorate.
Former deputy head of unit Sabine Pelsser becomes head of unit E1 (Food information and composition) filling a vacant position.

Human Resources and Security (HR)
Susan Panter replaces Flaminia Bussacchini as head of unit C2 (Middle Management) in an acting capacity in addition to her role as head of unit C1 (Senior Management & CCA).

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW)
Vanessa Uytborck becomes head of unit R4 (Business Processes, HR Business Correspondent and Document Management) filling a vacant position.
Giulia Del Brenna replaces David Blanchard as head of unit G4 (Innovative and Digital Procurement). Blanchard had been performing the role in an acting capacity.

Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO)
Anna Wagner replaces Michaela Stahl as head of unit, Political and Inter-Institutional Coordination, Strategic Management, and Document Management. Stahl had been performing the role in an acting capacity.

Secretariat-General (SG)
Flaminia Bussacchini becomes Commission Mediator, a role which has been upgraded to senior management level.

Spokesperson's Service (SPP)
Susanne Conze has left the spokeperson’s service as spokesperson for foresight, education, youth, sport and culture as well as democracy, demography and inter-institutional relations. Conze will begin a new role in DG EAC. Miriam Garcia Ferrer will take on the responsibilites of education, youth, sport and culture while Stefan de Keersmaecker will take on the responsibilities of foresight, inter-institutional relations, democracy and demography.
Oscar Sánchez Benítez joins the service as midday coordinator.

Council of the European Union

Permanent Representations

Petra Vargová has been named as the next Permanent Representative, effective from the beginning of January 2021, filling a post that has been left vacant since the departure of former Ambassador Peter Javorčík in October. Vargová currently works as the General Director of the Section for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

Other EU Institutions and Agencies

Conference on the Future of Europe
Former Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt is currently the favourite to lead the conference according to senior EU officials who have said that both France and Germany are behind her candidature. The conference, which was intended to be launched last spring, has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability of EU leaders to agree on a chair. Other names suggested include former Belgian prime minister and MEP Guy Verhofstadt (RE), former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta and former Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė.

Public Affairs

ChargeUp Europe
Christopher Burghardt, who is currently managing director for Europe, has been appointed president. ChargeUp Europe was launched on 31 March this year as the voice of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure sector in Europe. Burghardt formerly worked for Uber as Head of Policy and Communication, Europe, Middle East and Africa and now sits as an executive council member on the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmCham EU).

EUFORES – The European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources
Kinga Timaru-Kast has been appointed director of communications, projects and funding. Timaru-Kast was previously with the PR and public affairs agency Grayling Brussels PA.

European Snacks Association (ESA)
Mathijs Peters, Sector Lead Public Policy and Government Affairs, Europe at PepsiCo, has been elected as President for a two-year term, starting 1 July 2021.

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Read the most recent articles written by Mia Bartoloni - Movers and Shakers | 16 July 2021


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