Movers and Shakers | 7 March 2016

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

07 Mar 2016

European Parliament:

Ulla TØRNÆS (ALDE, DK) left her seat in the Parliament to take on her new role as Denmark’s Minister for Higher Education and Research. Morten LØKKEGARD, who has served as an MEP from 2009 to 2014 returned in Brussels to replace TØRNÆS.

Substitutes of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
Morten LØKKEGARD (ALDE, DK) joined the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and the Delegation for relations with the United States (D-US).

Filiz HYUSMENOVA (ALDE, BU) joined the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM).

Carolina PUNSET (ALDE, ES) left the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM).

Laurenţiu REBEGA (ENF, RO) joined the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Committee on Regional Development (REGI).

Béla KOVÁCS (NI, HU) joined the Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect (TAXE 2).

Zoltán BALCZÓ (NI, HU) left the Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect (TAXE 2).

Special Committees:
Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS):
The Committee elected its Chair and Vice-Chairs during the constituent meeting which was held on 2 March. During the meeting the following MEPs we elected:

Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D, BE) as Chair,
Ivo Belet (EPP, BE) as First Vice-Chair,
Mark Demesmaeker (ECR, BE) as Second Vice-Chair,
Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL, CZ) as Third Vice-Chair and
Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, FR) as Fourth Vice-Chair.

The S&D group has appointed Seb DANCE (UK) as its spokesperson on the committee, while the EPP group selected Krišjānis KARIŅŠ (LV) as Co-ordinator and Jens GIESEKE as Vice-Co-ordinator.

The committee’s first meeting will be held on 22 March.

Adam GIEREK (S&D, PL) was appointed ITRE Committee rapporteur on the Communication on an EU strategy for Heating and Cooling.

Meanwhile, ECR group MEPs will keep busy on EU migration and asylum reforms. Timothy KIRKHOPE (UK) will be the rapporteur for the extension of the EU’s criminal records system (ECRIS) to non-EU nationals, Monica MACOVEI (RO) will be rapporteur on the revision of the Schengen borders code and Jussi HALLA-AHO (FI) will be in charge of the creation of a new European travel document.


European Commission:

The Dods People EU team have updated the wall chart listing all Directorates-General. This includes Twitter accounts, all Directors-General, Vice-Presidents and Commissioners along with their nationalities. Click here to view it.

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN): Reshuffle
Directorate A – Policy, Strategy and Co-ordination became Policy, Strategy, Co-ordination and Communication. Jakob Wegener FRIIS (previously Head of Germany, Austria and Cyprus Unit – Directorate F) appointed Head of Policy, Planning and Co-ordination Unit. José Luis ROBLEDO-FRAGA left his position as Adviser and joined Directorate E. Martin LARCH (previously Head of Ireland, Poland and Lithuania Unit – Directorate E) appointed as Head of EMU deepening and the Macroeconomy of the euro area, replacing Eric RUSCHER. Philip TOD (previously Head of Communication – Directorate R) appointed as Head of Inter-institutional relations and Communication.
Directorate B – Growth, Competitiveness and Structural Reforms became Investment, Growth and Structural Reforms. Eric RUSCHER was appointed Head of Assessment and Benchmarking of National Reforms. Economic Infrastructure and Sustainable Growth renamed to Impact of EU Policies on National Economies.
Directorate C – Fiscal Policy became Fiscal Policy and Policy mix. Monetary policy, exchange rate policy of the euro area, ERM II and euro adoption Unit was moved from Directorate A under Paul KUTOS. Johan KHOUW (previously Head of Euro Protection and Pericles – Directorate R) was appointed Head of the Euro protections and euro cash Unit.  
Directorate D – International Economic and Financial Relations, Global Governance: Francesco CONTESSO left his position and joined Directorate F as Adviser. Countries of the G-20 – IMF – G-Groups Unit was renamed to IMF and G-Groups and Globalisation – Trade – Development Unit was renamed to Global Economy.
Directorate E – Economies of the Member States I became Economies of the Member States III. Italy, Malta, Slovenia Unit became Italy, Malta and Poland and Finland, Bulgaria, Romania became Finland, Hungary, Slovenia, under Outi SLOTBOOM as Head. Isabel GRILO became the Head of Bulgraia, Romania, Sweden.
Directorate F – Economies of the Member States II became Economies of the Member States I. Heinz JANSEN (previously Head of the United Kingdom, Estonia, Latvia, Sweden Unit – Directorate G) became Head of the Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands Unit.
Directorate G – Economies of Member States III became Economies of Member States II. Elena REITANO became Head of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, United Kingdom Unit.  
Directorate L – Finance, Coordination with EIB Group, EBRD and IFIs became Treasury and Financial Operations.
Directorate R – Resources and Communication became Resources. Evaluation, Internal Control, Business Continuity and Document Management Unit became Finance and Management of IT Resources Unit became IT, Internal control and Business continuity.

International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO):
Klaus RUDISCHHAUSER (currently Deputy Director-General, in charge of Directorates A, B, D, E) was appointed as Acting Director-General.

Senior appointments:
Anne BUCHER, previously acting Deputy Director General of DG ECFIN appointed as Chair of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board as of 1 March.

As of 16 March the following will take on their new roles as Deputy Directors-General:
Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI): María de los ángeles BENÍTEZ SALAS (currently Deputy Head of European Political Strategy Centre) will replace (Acting) John CLARKE, in charge of the Directorates that are dealing with the international bilateral and multilateral relations.

Competition (COMP): Carles ESTEVA MOSSO, currently acting in the position, in charge of mergers.

Environment (ENV): Joanna DRAKE (currently Chair of the Task Force on the Collaborative Economy, New Business Models and SMEs in DG GROW) will fill the position which is currently vacant and will be in charge of the coordination of the resource-efficiency policies and instruments.

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GORW): Irmfried SCHWIMANN (currently Director of Directorate D in DG COMP) will be in charge of the Single Market and the entrepreneurship programme, COSME.

Trade (TRADE): Sabine WEYAND (previously Director of Policy coordination in Directorate D in the Secretariat General) will be in charge of alia WTO matters, trade defense, TTIP and neighbourhood policy as of 1 March.


European Agencies:

Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA): Véronique WASBAUER, currently Head of the Budget, financial management and internal control Unit in Eurostat was nominated as Director of CHAFEA.


Permanent Representations:

Poland: Jarosław STARZYK was appointed as the new Permanent Representative to the EU as of 1 March, replacing Marek PRAWDA.


European Investment Bank (EIB):

Cristian POPA has been appointed as Vice-President and member of the Management Committee as of 1 March.


European Stability Mechanism:

The Management Board decided to partially redistribute the roles of two its members, effective as of 1 April. Within this context, Christophe FRANKEL, Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, in charge of Investment & Treasury will also assume responsibility for Finance and Control and Human Resources. Kalin Anev Janse, ESM Secretary General will be in charge of Funding and Asset Liability Management (ALM) and Lending, while remaining in charge of Corporate Governance and Internal Policies and IT and Operations.


Public affairs:

Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF): Emma BERGLUND took over Aljoscha REQUARDT as Secretary-General, effective 1 March.

Ships and Maritime Equipment Association (SEA Europe): Christophe TYTGAT took up his position as Secretary-General of the organisation on 1 March, succeeding Douwe CUNNINGHAM.


News in a nutshell:

European Parliament: MEPs are in Strasbourg from Monday 7 to Thursday 10 March for the plenary session.

Member states:
Danish Prime Minister Lars LØKKE RASMUSSEN, Venstre (ALDE) announced a reshuffle in his cabinet on Monday 29 February. Within this context, Minister for Higher Education and Research, Esben LUNDE LARSEN took over the Ministry for the Environment and Food, after Eva KJER HANSEN resigned. Her resignation put an end to the confidence crisis over agricultural reforms when the Conservative People’s Party threatened to withdraw its backing to the minority government of RASMUSSEN. ALDE MEP Ulla TØRNÆS joined the cabinet, replacing Esben LUNDE LARSEN.

Ireland: No party ensured enough seats in the parliament to govern alone in last week’s elections. The centre-right parties Fine Gael (EPP) came first and Fianna Fáil (ALDE) second. Political parties are in preliminary talks on forming a government.

Slovakia: The party of Prime Minister Robert FICO, Direction – Social Democracy (S&D) won most of the seats in the elections held on 5 March but lost its parliamentary majority. President Andrej KISKA said he would ask FICO to try to form a government. The far-right People's Party-Our Slovakia group led by Marian KOTLEBA, took eight percent of the votes and entered the parliament for first time.

Spain: The second bid of Pedro SANCHEZ, Socialist Party (S&D) to form a government failed on Friday, as the opposition parties did not back the coalition of SANCHEZ and the Citizens’ party (ALDE). Another round of talks will follow between the parties that have two months time to form a government. If this fails as well then a second election will be called, most probably on 26 June.

Candidate member states:
Serbia: President Tomislav NIKOLIC dissolved the parliament and called an early election for 24 April. 

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

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