Movers and Shakers | 7 June 2019


By Dods people EU

07 Jun 2019

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: The new EPP group presidency, Danish election results, resignation of a German coalition partner, the race is on the UK's Conservative leadership, top level changes at the European Commission and more!


European Parliament

Political Groups

Udo BULLMAN (DE), who led the group in the last session, will run for the leadership position again. Spanish MEP Iratxe GARCÍA has declared that she will also contest the position and push for a ‘more diverse, more feminist’ leadership of the group. The chair of the group will be decided on 18 June.

Polish party Spring have officially joined the S&D group.

Manfred WEBER (DE) was re-elected as the leader of the EPP group on Wednesday with 156 votes out of 160 cast.

Former mayor of Dubrovnik, Dubravka ŠUICA (HR) was elected as vice-chair with 145 votes along with Esteban GONZÁLEZ PONS (ES), Esther DE LANGE (NL), Ewa KOPACZ (PL), Siegfried MUREȘAN (RO), Mairead MCGUINNESS (IE) and Paulo RANGEL (PT). Tomas TOBÉ (SE) was the only candidate not to be elected.

The EPP group also welcomes three MEPs from national parties previously not affiliated. Peter POLLÁK from Slovak party Ordinary People has joined along with Vladimír BILČÍK and Michal WIEZIK from the Slovak party TOGETHER – Civil Democracy.

Dutch party Forum for Democracy have joined the ECR group.

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European Commission


Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI)
Silvia MICHELINI has been appointed as Director of Directorate F (Rural Development 2), replacing Acting Director Martin SCHEELE.

MICHELINI therefore leaves his position as Head of Unit R4 (Financial management of EAGF and EAFRD); being replaced by Acting Head of Unit Ann BEKAERT.

Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN)
Merete CLAUSEN and Anna KRZYZANOWSKA have swapped positions. CLAUSEN has become Head of Unit 2.01 (Coordination with the EIB Group, EBRD and IFIs), and KRZYZANOWSKA becomes Head of Unit 2.02 (Financing of Innovation, competitiveness and employment policies).

Financial Affairs, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA)
Pamela BRUMTER-CORET has left the position of Director of Directorate A (General Affairs); with Almorò Rubin DE CERVIN becoming the Acting Director.

Internal Market, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)
Jaime SILVA has left the position of Adviser, with the position becoming vacant.

Research and Innovation
There has been a reshuffle of the Directorate-General; with the following new Directorates and Directors:
Directorate A (Policy and Programming Centre): Kurt VANDENBERGHE
Directorate B (Common Implementation Centre): Anna PANAGOPOULOU
Directorate C (Healthy Planet): John BELL
Directorate D (Clean Planet): Clara DE LA TORRE
Directorate E (People): Irene NORSTEDT (acting)
Directorate F (Prosperity): Peter DRÖLL
Directorate G (Research and Innovation Outreach): Kurt VANDENBERGHE (acting)
Directorate H (International Cooperation): Maria-Cristina RUSSO
Directorate I (Innovative Administration): Priscilla FERNANDEZ-CANADAS

Jean-David MALO; former Director of the old Directorate B, has left his position.

Secretariat General (DG SG)
Jean-Luc DEMARTY has been appointed Hors Classe Adviser to the Secretary-General, filling a new position.

Pascal LEARDINI has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Secretary-General, filling a vacancy. LEARDINI leaves his prior position as Director of Directorate A (Strategy, Better Regulation and Corporate Governance), leaving the position vacant.

Commissioner Cabinets

Cabinet of Valdis Dombrovskis
Kai WYNANDS has left the position of Head of Cabinet, with former Deputy Head Massimo SUARDI replacing him. The new Deputy Head of Cabinet is current Cabinet Member Jan CEYSSENS. Additionally, there has been a small reshuffle of responsibilities.

European External Action Service

Arnout MOLENAAR is the new Head of Division SECDEFPOL.1 (Security and Defense Policy), replacing current Acting Division Head Rory DOMM.

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Public Affairs

European Renewable Ethanol Association (ePure)
Former vice-president Alarik SANDRUP has been newly elected as president and will serve a two-year term. He replaces outgoing president Charles-Albert PEERS who has served in the role since 2016. Valérie CORRE has been elected to replace SANDRUP as vice-president.

Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)
Former EU commissioner László ANDOR has been appointed as secretary-general. He takes over from Ernst STETTER.

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National News

The new technocratic government of Austria under interim Chancellor Brigitte BIERLEIN was formally sworn in on Monday by President Alexander VAN DER BELLEN. BIERLEIN, the first female Chancellor of Austria, was previously the President of the Constitutional Court and will serve until early elections, called after the collapse of the KURZ government, take place.

The Blue Block of Prime Minister Lars Løkke RASMUSSEN was defeated in Wednesday’s General Election, with Social Democrat leader Mette FREDERICKSEN likely to become the next Prime Minister. While the Social Democrats (PES) lost votes and only gained a single seat, they were aided by major gains by several left-wing partners: The Social Liberal Party (ALDE) and the Socialist People’s Party (Greens/EFA). While RASMUSSEN’s Liberals (ALDE) gained nine seats, the fall of the Danish People’s Party (ENF) and of the Liberal Alliance cost the government its majority.

The government announced that it would submit Kadri SIMSON as its candidate for European Commissioner, both for the next Commission and for the current one if a vacancy occurred. SIMSON is a member of the Centre Party (ALDE) and was Minister for Economic Affairs between 2016 and 2019.

Antti RINNE was formally elected as Prime Minister by the Finnish Parliament on Thursday.  111 MPs voted in favour of RINNE’s appointment while 74 voted against.  RINNE will lead a five party centre-left majority government including his Social Democrats (PES), the Centre Party of outgoing Prime Minister Juha SIPILA (ALDE), the Green League (EGP), Left Alliance (NGL) and Swedish People’s Party (ALDE).

Laurent WAUQUIEZ, leader of The Republicans (EPP), has resigned after the party scored poorly in the European Parliament elections with just below 8.5 percent, its lowest result ever.

Andrea NAHLES has resigned as leader of the Social Democratic Party (PES) after the party seriously underperformed in the European Parliament elections. The SPD are currently the coalition partner of German chancellor Angela MERKEL.

NAHLES’ resignation is a major blow to the current grand coalition between the CDU/CSU (EPP) and the SPD and many are calling for the end of the coalition.

Three members of the SPD have been named as interim leaders to run the party until a successor of NAHLES is electied. They are: Manuela SCHWESIG, Malu DREYER and Thorsten SCHÄFER-GÜMBEL.

Deputy prime minister Evangelos VENIZELOS has quit the socialist alliance Movement for Change, accusing its leader Fofi GENNIMATA of aiming to turn the party into an adjunct of ruling SYRIZA party.

Prime minister Giuseppe CONTE threatened to resign amid continuing bickering between the coalition government and particularly between Five Star Movement leader Luigi DI MAIO and the League leader Matteo SALVINI.

The European Coalition, formed by the bulk of the countries pro-European opposition parties, fell apart on Saturday after the Polish People’s Party (PSL/EPP) withdrew from the coalition.  PSL leader Wladyslaw KOSINIAK-KAMYSZ said that the more conservative supporters of his party didn’t like that left-wing parties such as the Democratic Left Alliance (PES) and The Greens (EGP) were involved in the coalition, and that they sought to build their own coalition for the General Election.

Theresa MAY formally resigned as Conservative Party leader today, officially triggering the Conservative party leadership contest that has been unofficially happening for the last few weeks. After nominations close on Monday, there shall be a series of ballots amongst Conservative MPs to reduce the field to two candidates, who shall then face off in a ballot of Conservative Party members. The next Prime Minister will be in office by mid-July at the latest, with MAY continuing in office until then.

Dods People will be keeping track of the declared support of Conservative MPs which is available through PoliticsHome. The current frontrunner is former Foreign Secretary Boris JOHNSON, with Environment Secretary Michael GOVE and Foreign Secretary Jeremy HUNT being his main contenders. JOHNSON has said that he is prepared to lead the UK out of the EU without a deal on 31 October unless the EU renegotiates the withdrawal agreement.

Read the most recent articles written by Dods people EU - Movers and Shakers | 20 March 2020


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