Movers and Shakers | 7 August 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)

07 Aug 2020

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: The MEP with the greatest influence on foreign affairs, the Commission’s new Recovery and Resilience Task Force, Finland gets a new Mertens representative, Bulgarian PM offers to step down, the latest Commission appointments, and more!


European Parliament

The European Parliament is in recess over the summer holidays from 27 July to 23 August 2020.

Committees and Delegations

India Delegation (D-IN)
Søren Gade (RE, DK) has been elected chair. Gade has been a member of the delegation since July 2019. He is also vice-chair of the Fisheries Committee and sits as a member on the Transport and Tourism Committee.

MEP news
Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR, PL) has been put under investigation concerning alleged irregularities in his travel expenses and daily allowance claims. Czarnecki, a member of the Parliament since 2004, is currently being investigated by polish prosecutors after his case was handed over by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Radosław Sikorski (EPP, Poland) has been recognized as the MEP with the greatest overall influence on foreign affairs, according to an influence index prepared by BCW Brussels and VoteWatch Europe. Sikorski, who is a former Polish Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs, is a member of Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and the Security and Defence Sub-committee (SEDE), and chairs the United States Delegation.

European Commission

President Ursula von der Leyen has established a Recovery and Resilience Task Force that will sit within the Secretariat-General as of 16 August. The Task Force, led by Deputy Secretary-General Céline Gauer as Acting Head, and Eric Von Breska and Maria Teresa Fabregas as Directors, will coordinate the implementation of the recovery plan agreed by the Council on 21 July across the EU in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Directorates-General and Services

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN)
Reinhard Felke replaces Joao Nogueira Martins as Director of Directorate A (Policy, strategy and communication). The latter had been performing the role in an acting capacity in addition to his role as Head of Unit A1 (Policy, economic surveillance, stability mechanisms and EMU legal issues).
Felke is replaced in his previous position as Director of Directorate G (Economies of the Member States II) by Martin Hallet who will perform the role in an acting capacity alongside his duties as Adviser on the economic surveillance of Member States in the same Directorate.
Géraldine Mahieu replaces Asa Johannesson Linden as Head of Unit B4 (Impact of EU policies on national economies). Johannesson Linden had been performing the role in an acting capacity.

European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
Giuseppe Angelini leaves his position as Adviser in Directorate D (Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and Pacific), leaving a vacant tenure as he becomes Head of Unit D2 (West and Central Africa).

Publications Office (OP)
António Carneiro replaces Rudolf Strohmeier as Director-General in an acting capacity. Carneiro will perform this role in addition to his usual duties as Director of Directorate C (Access to and Reuse of Public Information).

Council of the European Union

Permanent Representations

Aino Fant replaces Leo Svahnbäck as Finland’s Mertens representative. Fant has been a senior specialist in the permanent representation since early 2019 working with the Antici team and maintaining relations with other EU institutions with a special focus on institutional change.

EU Institutions and Agencies

Committee of the Regions
Dimitrios Birmpas (PES, EL) has joined as a member replacing Symeon Roussos.
Ioannis Kourakis (PES, EL) has joined as a member replacing Moses Elisaf.

European Court of Auditors (ECA)
Austrian Helga Berger has taken office as of 1 August and will hold the position until 31 July 2026. Berger previously worked at the Austrian Minister of Finance where she was director-general of budget and public finance. She will now sit as a member in Chamber II (Investment for Cohesion, Growth and Inclusion) and replaces outgoing member Oskar Herics.

European External Action Service (EEAS)
Jan Marco Müller has been appointed science adviser in the strategic policy planning division with the aim of raising the profile of science diplomacy.

Public Affairs

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National News

Prime minister Boyko Borissov has said he would be willing to resign in order to avoid a government collapse so long as the current cabinet stays in place until elections next year. Borissov’s statement comes after weeks of anti-government protests in Bulgaria with protestors accusing the government of links to the mafia and wider corruption. Despite a government reshuffle last month which aimed to soothe public sentiment, Borissov has failed to win back the public’s confidence.

Deputy justice minister Dimitris Kranis submitted his resignation to prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday. Before being appointed to his current ministerial post, Kranis served as vice president of the Supreme Court and general director of the National School of Judges. The details surrounding his resignation have yet to be revealed.

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