Movers and Shakers | 5 March 2021

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)

05 Mar 2021

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: The ECR Group gain a member, Orbán’s Fidesz leaves EPP Group, the latest Commission and public affairs appointments, new Brussels Liaison Officer for Eurojust, new judges appointed at the CJEU, and more!

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European Parliament

Political Groups

The group welcomes a new member to its ranks as Italian MEP Vincenzo Sofo leaves the ID group. Sofo has said of his decision “The European Union is going through one of the most difficult periods in its history, not only from an economic point of view but also from a social and cultural point of view. Surely, it must be profoundly changed to be preserved. Considering the political forces grouped in the European Conservatives and Reformists, they are the ones most able to carry out this task. 
The ECR Group now holds 63 seats in the European Parliament. 
Sofo was one of the Italian ‘Brexit’ MEPs, elected in May 2019 but not officially taking his seat until February 2020. Amongst his priorities in Parliament over the next few months include the Conference on the Future of Europe. 

On Wednesday the group voted to amend its Rules of Procedure with 148 votes in favour, 28 against and 4 abstentions. These rules, which pertain to membership of the group and circumstances under which suspensions and exclusions can take place, essentially allow the EPP to suspend groups of its MEPs. In response to this vote, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party has left the group. Fidesz had already been suspended since early 2019, but its 12 MEPs had continued to enjoy the rights and privileges of being associated with Parliament’s largest faction. EPP will remain the biggest group in Parliament with 175 out of 705 seats compared to S&D’s 145 seats so the balance of power is unlikely to change to dramatically. It is yet to be confirmed which group the 12 Fidesz MEPs will join, but it is likely they will join the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

European Commission

Directorates-General and Services

Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL)
Mina Andreeva, the Commission’s former chief spokesperson, has been appointed head of communications.

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN)
Andrea Mairate has been appointed adviser on investment strategies in support of EU policies under the deputy director-general for investment and international.
Philip Tod moves from head of unit A1 (Communication and inter-institutional relations) to head of unit C5 (Euro protection and euro cash), replacing Johan Khouw. Tod is replaced in his previous role by Iciar Rodriguez Miranda in an acting capacity.

European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
Georg Roebling moves from head of unit D2 (Legal Advice) to head of unit D1 (Legislation and Anti-Fraud Programme) replacing Irene Sacristan Sanchez. He is replaced in his previous role by Eleonore Von Bardeleben.

Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA)
Alexandra Jour-Schroeder has begun her new function as deputy director-general filling a vacant tenure. Jour-Schroeder was most recently director of Criminal Justice and acting deputy director-general in DG Justice and Consumers (JUST).
Rainer Wichern replaces Filip Keereman as head of unit E2 (National financial systems) in an acting capacity.

Health and Food Safety (SANTE)
The role of head of unit, health emergency response and vaccines moves from under directorate C to the responsibility of deputy director-general Pierre Delsaux.

Informatics (DIGIT)
Tanya Chetcuti replaces Christopher Borrelly as head of unit A1 (Customers, Communication & Governance). Borrelly had been performing the role in an acting capacity.

Interpretation (SCIC)
Maria Koroknai replaces Katalin Vittay-Fedineczné as head of unit for Hungarian interpretation.

Justice and Consumers (JUST)
Nils Behrndt takes on the role of deputy director-general in an acting capacity replacing Alexandra Jour-Schroeder who recently moved to DG FISMA.
Maria Tomassetti replaces Daniela Bankier as head of unit, programme and financial management under the director-general.
Richard Sonnenschein replaces Alexandra Jour-Schroeder as director of directorate B (Criminal Justice) in an acting capacity.

Mobility and Transport (MOVE)
Pierpaolo Settembri replaces Kristian Hedberg as head of unit A1 (Coordination and Planning). 
Hedberg in turn replaces Isabelle Vandoorne as head of unit B4 (Sustainable and Intelligent Transport). Vandoorne had been performing the role in an acting capacity. 
Richard Szostak leaves his role as principal adviser under the director-general. 

Secretariat-General (SG)
Former deputy head of the UK Task Force, Clara Martínez Alberola, has been appointed principal adviser for relations with the UK.
Richard Szostak has been appointed head of service for the EU-UK Agreements in an acting capacity. Szostak was previously principal adviser in DG Mobility and Transport (MOVE).
Emma Udwin has been appointed head of unit for migrations, borders and security in directorate E (Citizens, Health, Migration and Security Union).

Other EU Institutions and Agencies

EU Courts

Court of Justice
Miroslav Gavalec (SK) and Octavia Spineanu-Matei (RO) have been appointed as judges for a first term of office effective from 7 October 2021.
The terms of office of Niilo Jääskinen (FI) and Lars Bay Larsen (DK) as judges have been renewed. 
The term of office of Juliane Kokott (DE) as advocate-general has been renewed.

General Court
David Petrlík (CZ) has been appointed judge replacing Jan Passer for the remainder of his term in office which runs until 31 August 2025.

Eurojust- EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation
Giulia Liverino commences her new role as Brussels Liaison Officer. Liverino previously worked for the European Commission and during her time there was responsible for relations between the Commission’s EU Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the European Parliament. Liverino will now be the Agency’s contact point for stakeholders and interlocutors across EU institutions.

Public Affairs

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EUROPEN, the European organization for packaging and the environment
Sévrine Pereira Teixeira has been appointed EU public affairs and communications manager.

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


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