Movers and Shakers | 5 November 2018

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

05 Nov 2018

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: the new composition of the political groups, news about the European elections, latest appointments in the European Commission and public affairs, the political deadlock in Sweden, Brexit and more


European Parliament:

Composition of the political groups:
Emmanuel MAUREL (NI, FR) has left the French Socialist Party and the S&D group in the European Parliament. He has set up a new party, Aprés, and there is speculation MAUREL will run for reelection on a GUE/NGL affiliated list led by Jean-Luc MÉLENCHON.

National parties:
Arne GERICKE (ECR, DE) has switched national parties, leaving the Free Voters and joining Alliance C where he becomes their lead candidate for the European Parliament elections. Alliance C part of a European Party affiliated with the ECR group, so he remains part of that group in Parliament.

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Composition of the committees and delegations:
Committee on Budgets (BUDG):
Bernard MONOT (EFDD, FR) is no longer a substitute.
Budgetary control (CONT): Dan NICA (S&D, RO) is no longer a substitute.
Economic and monetary affairs (ECON): Doru-Claudian FRUNZULICĂ (S&D, RO) is no longer a substitute.
International trade (INTA): Victor BOŞTINARU (S&D, RO) is no longer a substitute.


European elections:

EPP members will congregate for the party’s Congress on 7-8 November in Helsinki, where Parliament’s EPP group President Manfred WEBER and former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander STUBB will contest to become their party’s leading candidate for President of the European Commission. The party announced that a debate between the candidates, which Alex STUBB had previously campaigned for, will take place on 7 November.

Ahead of the Congress, Maltese MEP David CASA (EPP) called on the EPP’s Spitzenkandidaten candidates to commit to introduce legislation to help protect journalists if elected European Commission President. The plea comes in the wake of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal KHASHOGGI in early October and a number of other journalists.

Now that the EPP, PES, the European Greens, and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe have unveiled their potential Spitzenkandidaten nominees we have prepared, as part of our European Elections Package, biographies of the candidates announced so far. Download them.

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

European Commission:

Energy (DG ENER):

Iuliana Gabriela ALUAS is the new Head of Unit for Nuclear Accountancy and International Obligations replacing Acting unit head Fernando MAZZA.

Human Resources and Security (DG HR):
Fernando GARCIA-FERREIRO has left the post of Director of Directorate D - Health & Wellbeing. The new acting Head of the Directorate is Marco-Umberto MORICCA, who takes on the position along with his responsibilities as Director of Directorate E (Legal Affairs and Partnerships).

International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO):
There has been a slight reshuffle involving Directorates D and E.  Directorate D, formerly “EU-Africa Relations, East and Southern Africa”, is now called “EU-AU relations, West and East Africa” with Hans STAUSBOLL remaining as Acting Director.  Directorate E, formerly “West and Central Africa”, is now called “Central and Southern Africa, Indian Ocean” with Filippo DI MAURO replacing Didier VERSÉ as Acting Director.
The “Western Africa” unit, with Didier VERSÉ remaining as Head of Unit, moves from Directorate E to D; with the Southern Africa, Indian Ocean unit moves from D to E. Michael PENNINGTON departs as Acting Head of Unit, replaced by new Unit Head Isabelle DELATTRE.
The “Finance and Contracts” unit moves from Directorate D to Directorate E.
Unit D3; formerly “EU-Africa, African Peace Facility” is now called “Strategic Partnerships EU-ACP and EU-African Union”.

Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO):
Pascal BOIJMANS has left as Head of Unit for Administrative Capacity Building and European Solidarity Fund. The new acting Unit Head is Anne-Kertin MYLEUS.
BOIJMANS moves to become Head of Unit for “Interreg, Cross-border Cooperation, Internal Borders”. Ana-Paula LAISSY was the departing Head of Unit.
Agnès LINDEMANS-MAES leaves the position of Head of Unit, Belgium, France and Luxembourg.  Vicente RODRÍGUEZ SAEZ replaces her as Acting Head of Unit.

Research and Innovation (DG RTD):
Jean-Claude BURGELMAN has departed as Head of Unit for Unit A2.  The deputy Unit Head, Patrick BRENIER, is the current Acting Head of Unit. Additionally, the name of the Unit has changed from “Open Data Policy & Science Cloud” to “Research and Innovation Strategy”.
The names of most of the other units in Directorate A - Policy Development & Coordination have also change.  Unit A3 has gone from “Horizon 2020 Policy and Foresight” to “Horizon Programmes Policy”; A4 from “Analysis and Monitoring of National Research and Innovation policies” to “Reforms & Economic Impact – Country Intelligence”; and A5 from “Better Regulation” to “Better Regulation & Innovation Principle”.  The Head of Units remain unchanged despite this reshuffle of responsibilities.
Jean-Claude BURGELMAN takes over as Head of Unit B2 (Open Science) from Fabienne GAUTIER; who has moved to be the Head of Unit B1 (Innovation Ecosystems), which recently he has been the Acting Unit Head for.
The names of the units in Directorate B - Open Innovation and Open Science have also changed.  B3 has changed from “SMEs, Financial Instruments & State Aid” to “Investments & SMEs”; B5 from “Spreading of Excellence & Widening Participation” to “Sharing Intelligence – Country Intelligence”; B6 from “Open & Inclusive Society” to “Inclusive Societies”; and A7 from “Science With & For Society” to “Academic R&I”.
Directorate I - Climate Action & Resource Efficiency: Anastasios KENTARCHOS is the current Acting Head of Unit of Unit I4 - Climate Action and Resource Efficiency, after the departure of former Head of Unit Andrea TILCHE.


Public affairs:

Got a new appointment you would like us to include in our next newsletter? Contact Ifigenia Balkoura!

BOLDT: Jimmy DE BOCK joined the team as Creative Director. He brings 25 years of experience in creativity management, global internal engagement, web and user interface design, video production and media training. Prior to his appointment, he was working at Burson-Marsteller as Art Director and Senior Graphic Designer.

International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA): Margaret FITZGERALD was appointed as Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs. She was previously leading on the development of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code and related regulations on the carriage of hazardous chemicals and noxious and polluting substances at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).


News in a nutshell:

Brexit:  Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip HAMMOND announced the 2018 Budget. In his speech, HAMMOND declared that ‘austerity coming to end’, while he also announced an increase from  £1.5bn to £2bn for Brexit preparations. Download the comprehensive sector by sector analysis and key stakeholder reaction, Dods Monitoring prepared.  

UK Immigration Minister Caroline NOKES said on Tuesday 30 November that it would be “almost impossible” for employers to identify EU citizens entitled to work in the UK but who haven’t yet managed to secure the new “settled status”, especially under a no deal scenario.  However, employers would still be expected to check vigorously to see if a person is entitled to work in the United Kingdom; but NOKES admitted that it would be hard for firms to differentiate those who’ve lived in the UK for a long time but who haven’t gone through the settled status process, and those who arrive after Brexit as visitors and who then seek work. NOKES said that the UK government would take a “pragmatic approach” to the situation.

UK Brexit Secretary Dominic RAAB predicted that Brexit deal is expected to be agreed within the next three weeks. RAAB made the statement in a letter to the Brexit Select Committee of the House of Commons. However, as spokesperson for Theresa MAY has that “we want to conclude this process as soon as possible."

On 1 November, Minister for Sports Tracey CROUCH resigned over the Government's decision to delay a crackdown on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.

The National Crime Agency launched an investigation into the founded the Leave.EU campaign, Arron BANKS over cash he gave into the EU referendum.

Responding to an article published by the Times, that the UK struck a deal with the EU, which would allow the UK financial services companies continued access to the EU market post Brexit, EU Chief Negotiator Michel BARNIER tweeted that they are misleading while he reminded that “EU may grant and withdraw equivalence in some financial services autonomously. As with other third countries, EU is ready to have close regulatory dialogue with UK in full respect for autonomy of both parties.”

Croatia: European Commission Vice President Valdis DOMBROVSKIS confirmed that Croatia plans to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II) – a key step towards becoming a Eurozone member.  He stated that the Commission would offer support to ensure Euro membership; not just political support but also through the Structural Reform Support Service to ensure the structural reforms required to allow the country to meet the criteria to acquire Eurozone membership.

Sweden: Social Democrat leader Stefan LÖFVEN announced on Monday 29 October that he was unable to form a new government, leaving no obvious candidate for the office.  The political deadlock brings the prospect of a snap election closer.

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


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