Movers and Shakers | 5 December 2016

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

05 Dec 2016

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: the Parliament's Presidency and the new seat breakdown, latest appointments in the Commission and public affairs stakeholders, the new President of Austria, the Italian referendum and the resignation of Matteo Renzi, Brexit and more.

 
European Parliament:

Presidency:
Sylvie GOULARD (FR) unexpectedly announced that she is running to be ALDE candidate for the Presidency. In an interview with the Parliament Magazine, GOULARD explained why there should be a job description for the Parliament President and how the EU institutions should work to reconnect with citizens and Martin SCHULZ's legacy. Read more. However, she withdrew her candidacy shortly after this, as this would be a "rushed procedure that would not allow all an in-depth between the candidates standing", she said in a press release.
Mairead MCGUINNESS (IE), Vice-President of the European Parliament officially declared her candidacy to become the EPP Group’s nominee for the presidency.
Gianni PITTELLA (IT), leader of the S&D group, is the latest one to join the race. The Group unanimously backed him as their candidate for the presidency. Read more.

Outgoing:
Ernest MARAGALL will leave his seat in the European Parliament, effective 31 December.

 


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Composition of the Parliament:
Alessandra MUSSOLINI (IT) defected from the EPP group and now sits as an independent MEP, due to disagreement with the group’s policies on migration and economy. However, she remains a member of Forza Italia.
Following the defection of MUSSOLINI from EPP group, the current seat breakdown is as follows:

 

Vice-Chairs of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
Gabriel MATO (EPP, ES) was elected as 4th Vice-Chair of Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), replacing Pablo ZALBA BIDEGAIN (EPP, ES), who is set to leave the Parliament.

Members of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
Alex MAYER (S&D, UK) joined the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia (D-SAS).
Janice ATKINSON (ENF, UK) switched from substitute to member of the Delegation for relations with the United States (D-US).

Substitutes of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
Sven SCHULZE (EPP, DE) joined the Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (D-ASE).
Alex MAYER (S&D, UK) joined the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) and the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (D-TR).
Stanisław ŻÓŁTEK (ENF, PL) switched from member to substitute of the Delegation for relations with the United States (D-US).
Janice ATKINSON (ENF, UK) left the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (D-FEM).
Sorin MOISĂ (S&D, RO) joined the Committee on Petitions (PETI).

National parties:
United Kingdom Independent Party (UKIP):
Following the elections of  Paul NUTTALL as the party's new leader, Gerard BATTEN was appointed as Brexit Spokesperson, while Mike HOOKEM has been given the fisheries spokesperson role, less than two months after his altercation with Steven WOOLFE landed the latter in hospital. Read more.
Damian DRĂGHICI (S&D, RO) left the National Union for the Progress of Romania and became independent.

Latest news:
On 11 October, the TRAN committee held a discussion on the amendments tabled to the draft opinion, authored by Karima DELLI (Greens/EFA, FR), on the IMCO-led file “Approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of system, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles”. Ms DELLI advocated in her opinion for the necessity of setting up an EU agency to perform the testing of vehicles, proposal which was not welcomed by all of the MEPs, as it would be time-consuming, burdensome and costly. Ms DELLI also believed in the opportunity to restore consumer confidence in the EU system, being joined by most of the MEPs in calling for a more transparent, efficient and controllable system, complemented by proper and independent testing of motor vehicles. A European Commission official from DG GROW said, on a number of occasions (during the hearings held by both EMIS and IMCO committees), that the Commission did not consider setting up an agency for reasons of costs, timing and efficiency and that instead proposed the oversight system whereby the Commission services, JRC mainly, would be independent assessors of the activities carried out by Member States. The amendments also indicate that the JRC being in charge of the oversight would be the most plausible.

Events:
Leading energy company E.ON organised a breakfast round table with the Parliament Magazine in the European Parliament on 29 November. The event was hosted by Martina WERNER (S&D, DE) and focused on the upcoming revision of the Energy Efficiency package by discussing the design of the target and measures to achieve it. The upcoming winter package will include eight legislative proposals and includes a review of both the energy efficiency directive and the energy performance of buildings directive. It is designed to shape EU energy policies beyond 2020. Read more. Pictures of the event are available here.

 

European Commission:

Commissioners’ cabinets:
Kristallina GEORGIEVA:
Christian PENNERA and Maria Isabel ROFES i PUJOL joined Ms GEORGIEVA’s cabinet as Special Advisers on European regulation relating to the budget for the EU and Euratom. Their term will run until 17 November 2018.
 
Directorates-General:
Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT):

Khalil ROUHANA started in his role as Deputy Director-General, responsible for Directorates A, C, E and H. He replaced Gail KENT who was acting in the role and is Director of Resources. Dr ROUHANA was previously Director ‘Digital Industry’ and remains in the role as acting Director for the time being.
 
Infrastructure and Logistics – Brussels (OIB):
Logistics and services: Konstantin KONSTANTINOU became acting Director replacing Erik HALSKOV. Mr KONSTANTINOU is also Head of Unit, ‘Historical Archives, Mail, Reproduction’.
 
Secretariat General (SG):
Directorate F – Relations with other institutions: Detlev CLEMENS became acting Head of Unit, ‘European Parliament, Inter-Institutional Relations Group (GRI)’, replacing Lars MITEK PEDERSEN.
 
Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD):
Directorate C – Indirect taxation and tax administration: Patrice PILLET became Head of Unit, ‘Control on the application of EU legislation and state aid/indirect taxes’, replacing Antonio VICTORIA SANCHEZ who was acting in the role.
 
Trade (TRADE):
Joost KORTE (NL) was appointed as Deputy Director-General, with a start date to be determined. Mr KORTE is currently Deputy Director-General in the department for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI).
 
Spokesperson's Service (SPP):
Budget and Human Resources:
Maria SARANTOPOULOU became Press Officer replacing Andreana STANKOVA. Ms SARANTOPOULOU has previously worked as acting Press Officer for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.


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Digital Single Market:
Inga HÖGLUND became Press Officer replacing Marie FRENAY. Ms FRENAY took up an Assistant Policy Officer position in the Cabinet of Vice-President Andrus ANSIP.
 
Multimedia editorial team:
Christiane KEUTGENS left the SPP to take up a communications role in DG COMM.
 
Translation (DGT):
Directorate S – Customer relations: Werner GRÜNEWALD became Head of Unit, ‘External translation’, replacing Margareta NEGRU who joined the Romanian language team in Directorate B. Mr GRÜNEWALD moved from his position as Head of Unit, ‘Evaluation and analysis’, in the same Directorate, with Anne PATERNOSTER now acting in the role.
 

Council of the European Union:

General Secretariat:
Directorate General A – Administration: Eleonora BOTAR became Head of Unit, ‘Legal Advisers to the Administration’, in Directorate 1. The position had been vacant since July. Jan STUER became Head of Unit ‘Infrastructures and Operations (RUN)’ in Directorate 5, replacing Daniel SPRENGERS.

 

European Stability Mechanism (ESM):

Board of Directors: Ana Isabel LACERDA became the Alternate Director for Portugal, replacing Álvaro MATIAS.
 

Public Affairs:

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Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA): Catherine COUPLAN was appointed as Vice President, Public Relations, Europe. In her new role Catherine will be leading programming and support the development and execution of communications strategies, including public relations, social media and digital programs throughout Europe, while she will working in partnership with the CLIA Global Communications team, based in Washington, D.C. to create effective management processes that ensure continuity between offices, departments and outside agencies.

European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI): Romain WOLFF and Klaus HEEGER were re-elected as President and Secretary General respectively.

European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO): Gabriel DAIA joined the association as Digital Communications Officer. Gabriel joined from EU40, where he was working as Project Manager Assistant.

German Social Insurance: Ilka WÖLFLE was appointed as the new Director of European Representation in Brussels as of 1 December. She replaced Franz TERWY, who retired. In addition, the organisation has a new website and logo.

Hydrogen Europe: On 24 November the Hydrogen Europe General Assembly elected three new Board Members. The posts were filled by Sunfire’s Nils ALDAG as the Energy Chair, Denis THOMAS of Hydrogenics who secured the Membership and Joint Undertaking Commitment Chair and Werner DIWALD who became the first Chair of the recently formed Association Pillar.

International Accounting Standards Board: The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation, led by Michel PRADA and responsible for the governance and oversight of the International Accounting Standards Board (the Board), have announced that Françoise FLORES will join as a Board member on 1 January 2017.

IRU: Mathias MAEDGE was appointed as the new IRU General Delegate to lead the work of the Brussels office, as of early next year. Mr MAEDGE is currently the Secretary General of NGVA.

MedTech Europe: A new MedTech Europe single entity has been created, after the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association (EDMA) and the European Medical Device Manufacturers Association (Eucomed) members have voted to dissolve their respective European associations. The new MedTech Europe is operating as of 30 November. Rob TEN HOEDT and Jürgen SCHULZE are the new Chairman and Vice-Chair of MedTech Europe respectively.

 

News in a nutshell:

Austria: Alexander VAN DER BELLEN, Green party  beat the far-right candidate Norbert HOFER in the presidential elections held on 4 December. Senior EU political figures were taking comfort on Monday in the election in Austria of Alexander VAN DER BELLEN as the country's new President. Read more.

Brexit: In a letter to the President of the European Council Donald TUSK 81 British MPs – many of whom are Conservative – called for an end to the "anxiety and uncertainty" both for EU citizens and for British expats living in European countries. Read more. In his response TUSK said "In your letter, you called on me 'to resolve this matter once and for all' at the European Council in December. This would in effect mean the start of the negotiations already in December. The EU stands ready to do so, but that can only happen on the condition that article 50 has been triggered." Read more.
Prime Minister Theresa MAY said that guaranteeing EU citizens’ right to stay pre Brexit talks would leave Brits ‘high and dry’. Read more.
Foreign Secretary Boris JOHNSON came once again under fire, after Sky News said Mr JOHNSON privately told at least four EU ambassadors that he supports the principle at a private lunch, despite the Government’s pledge to honour the “leave” vote and cut ties from the bloc. Read more.
Secretary for Exiting the EU, David DAVIS has confirmed that the UK could continue making payments to the European Union after Brexit in order to secure preferential trading terms. Read more.
Official statistics revealed a record number of EU migrants arrived in the UK in the year to June 2016, while net migration remains at peak levels. Read more.
Chancellor Philip HAMMOND has warned First Minister Nicola STURGEON that Scotland will not be able to reach its own deal with Brussels once Britain leaves the European Union. Read more.

Czech Republic: In mini cabinet reshuffle, Miloslav LUDVÍK was appointed as the new Health Minister, replacing Svatopluk NĚMEČEK and Jan CHVOJKA as the new Minister for Human Rights and Legislation, taking over from Jiří DIENSTBIER.

France: President François HOLLANDE announced he will not seek a second term in office.

Italy: Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after the constitutional reform referendum defeat. He will officially hand in his resignation to President Sergio MATTARELLA on Monday 5 December.  A caretaker government is expected to be appointed.

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

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