Movers and Shakers | 5 February 2018

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

05 Feb 2018

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: Parliament's composition,  news from the MEPs, the new interim S&D group leader, the MEP Awards shortlist, appointments in the European Commission, the ECB and public affairs, the new Romanian cabinet, the presidential runoff election in Cyprus, latest on  Brexit and more.


European Parliament:

Edouard FERRAND (ENL, FR) died on 1 February aged 52. He was Vice-Chair of the ENL group and head of the National Front delegation in the Parliament. He joined as an MEP in 2014 and he was member of the committee on agriculture and rural development (AGRI) and the EU-Turkey delegation. He will be replaced by Jacques COLOMBIER.

Gabriela ZOANĂ (S&D, RO) joined the Parliament as member, replacing Viorica DĂNCILĂ, who became prime minister in Romania.

Composition of the committees and delegations:

Wajid KHAN (S&D, UK) joined the subcommittee on security and defence (SEDE), replacing Alex MAYER (S&D, UK).
Martina DLABAJOVÁ (ALDE, CZ) and Raymond FINCH (EFDD, UK) joined the delegation to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly (D-ACP).

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Political groups:
S&D group
: Gianni PITTELLA announced his candidacy for the Italian Senate. The election takes place on 4 March. PITTELLA told reporters his decision was not an easy one, but that he hopes to defeat anti-EU right wing forces, to inject a European perspective into the Italian elections and to give southern Italy a stronger voice. Veteran German MEP Udo BULLMANN (DE) will lead the group on an interim basis until the elections. If PITTELLA secures a seat, a new president will be elected to lead the group until the European elections next spring.

MEPs’ news:
Wajid KHAN (UK) was appointed as the S&D group’s special representative to Muslim communities to promote interfaith dialogue.

The conference of presidents has decided to hold a vote in plenary on 7 February on whether Ryszard CZARNECKI (ECR, PL) should retain his Parliament vice-presidency, after he allegedly used a Nazi slur against a fellow MEP.

Plenary session:
MEPs are in Strasbourg from Monday 5 to Thursday 8 February.


MEP Awards Shortlist announced:

After a record number of nominations, the Parliament Magazine has proudly unveiled the shortlist for this year's MEP Awards. Find out the who the nominees are by category.
On 5 February the judging panel will convene to select the winners. The award ceremony will take place on Wednesday 21 March, hosted by Greek MEP - and one of this year's nominees - Eva Kaili


High Level Conference on Circular Economy:

APEAL (the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging) and the Parliament Magazine, are organising a high-level conference focused on the advancement of good practices in recycling of steel for packaging.

The conference will take place on Wednesday 11 April 2018, Thon Hotel EU, from 09:00 to 17:00 followed by an evening reception until 18:30.

The theme of this event will focus on the role of recycling in the transition towards a more circular economy in Europe. Specific attention will be given to how policymakers and stakeholders can work together to fully close the loop on steel packaging recycling in all countries in Europe. This will be illustrated by concrete examples drawn from the APEAL White Book of good practices in collection, sorting and recycling of steel packaging, and presented by key figures in the industry.

Mark DEMESMAEKER (ECR, BE), Nils TORVALDS (ALDE, FI) and Tibor SZANYI (S&D, HU) will be joining the speakers' panel.

For further information and to register your interest, please contact the events team: | +44 207 593 5672

European Commission:

Interpretation Directorate-General (DG SCIC):

Directorate C – Resources and Corporate Services: Patricia LAMBERT, formerly of JRC, becomes Head of Unit C1 (Corporate Conference Organization), taking over from Director of Directorate C Gianluca PECCHI, who held the role on an interim basis.

Migration and Home affairs (DG HOME):
Paraskevi MICHOU, currently deputy Director-General, was appointed as Director-General as of 1 March, becoming the first ever woman to hold that post. She will replace Matthias RUETE, who will become Hors-Classe Adviser for strategic matters related to Energy Union, Security Union, Subsidiarity and Proportionality in the Secretariat-General. His mandate will start on 1 March and will last until the end of this year.

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

European Central Bank (ECB):

The executive board appointed Hans-Joachim KLÖCKERS (currently Director General Economic Developments) as Director-General International and European Relations as of 15 March, replacing Frank MOSS, who retired in December 2017.

Claudia MANN, Deputy Director General Finance was also appointed as Director Internal Audit as of 1 March. She will take over from Klaus GRESSENBAUER, who is retiring.


Public affairs:

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BoldT: Morten PETTERSEN will join the team as founding partner in March. In his new role, Mr PETTERSEN will be focusing on Nordic and crisis management communications businesses.

Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE): Former Council president and Belgian minister of state, Herman VAN ROMPUY, was elected president, succeeding Philippe MAYSTADT.

European Aluminium: Alumetal S.A. one of Europe’s largest aluminium refiners and producers of aluminium master alloys, aluminium for steel deoxidation, fluxes and salts, and ALTEK, a technology-based company focusing on the design, manufacturing and installation of aluminium dross, salt slag and scrap processing systems joined the association, which now represents over 85 companies and associations.

Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF): Emma BERGLUND stepped dwon from her role as Secretary-General, Fanny-Pomme LANGUE, currently policy director of the European biomass association (AEBIOM) was selected to serve the position as of 15 February.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: The General Affairs Council adopted negotiating directives regarding the transition period, which will last from 29 March 2019 until 31 December 2020. The UK will not be represented during this period, but will still have to abide by EU law. According to European Commission’s deputy chief negotiator Sabine WEYAND, the adoption took the EU27 just a couple of minutes. Michel BARNIER rejected the idea that Brexit talks could be held until the end of the year, as the EU aims to finalise the text by October before ratification. He also rejected pleas by UK Brexit secretary of state David DAVIS for the  UK to have a say over any new EU laws it would be subject to during the implementation phase.

However, UK Prime Minister Theresa MAY challenged the decision as she vowed to end the free movement in March 2019 and not after the transition period. The European Parliament’s chief negotiator Guy VERHOFSTADT hit back, stating that the citizens’ rights are not negotiable and creating two sets of rights for the EU citizens is not acceptable. 

A leaked government analysis predicting that the UK will be worse off under any Brexit scenario sparked anger earlier this week. Even in case that it stays in the custom union, growth would be hit by 2 per cent over a 15-year period, while every sector would suffer. Labour MEPs in Brussels were also angered by the impact analysis. The UK government will publish the leaked Brexit analysis after the opposition secured a vote demanding its release.

Speaking at a hearing on Brexit on 1 February, chair of Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee Roberto GUALTIERI warned that MEPs will scrutinise the final withdrawal agreement between the EU and UK in “every line, every comma, every full stop and every sentence.” In a tweet, ALDE group MEP Catherine BEARDER (UK) highlighted that none of the Conservative or UKIP MEPs were present in the debate.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel BARNIER, will meet with UK Brexit Secretary David DAVIS in London on Monday to discuss the post-Brexit transitional arrangements. Potential sticking points include citizens’ rights, with the UK insisting EU nationals arriving during this time should not have the same rights as those who arrived before Brexit day.

Cyprus: Nicos ANASTASIADES secured a second five-year term as president after beating Stavros MALAS in the runoff election on Sunday 4 February. 

Romania: The new cabinet under former MEP Viorica DĂNCILĂ took office on 29 January. Victor NEGRESCU continues as minister for European affairs and Teodor MELEȘCANU as foreign minister. Rugen TEODOROVICI took over Ionuţ MIŞA as minister for public finance.

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


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