Movers and Shakers | 7 May 2021

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: Committee and delegation changes in Parliament, Commission appoints Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU, Commission appoints a new Director and a new Head of Representation, Spotlight on Greens Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock, Bulgarian parliamentary elections set for 11 July, and lots more!

By Mia Bartoloni

Mia Bartoloni is the Editor of Dods People EU and the European Public Affairs Directory (EPAD)

07 May 2021

Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our Movers and Shakers column.

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European Parliament

Committees and Delegations

Radka Maxová (S&D), has joined the Special Committee on Foreign Interference and Disinformation (INGE) and the Moldova Delegation (D-MD).
Andrus Ansip (RE, EE) leaves the Petitions Committee (PETI).
Alexandra Geese (Greens/EFA, DE) moves from substitute to member on the Latin-American Delegation (D-LAT).
Daniel Caspary (EPP, DE) leaves the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL).
Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (EPP, EL) moves from substitute to member on the Israel Delegation (D-IL).
Maria Spyraki (EPP, EL) moves from substitute to member on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI).
Andrea Caroppo (EPP, IT) joins the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) replacing Dan-Ştefan Motreanu (EPP, RO).
Isabella Adinolfi (EPP, IT) moves from substitute to member on the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM).
Michiel Hoogeveen (ECR, NL) has joined the United States Delegation (D-US).
Isabel Benjumea (EPP, ES) leaves the Ukraine Delegation (D-UA).
Vincenzo Sofo (ECR, IT) joins the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL).

Radka Maxová (S&D) has joined the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI), the Chile Delegation (D-CL) and the Euronest Delegation (D-EPA).
Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (EPP, EL) joins the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET).
Stelios Kympouropoulos (EPP, EL) joins the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI).
Andrea Caroppo (EPP, IT) joins the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) replacing Antonio Tajani.
Isabella Adinolfi (EPP, IT) moves from substitute to member on the Culture and Education.
Ioan-Rareş Bogdan (EPP, RO) leaves the Culture and Education Committee (CULT).
Maria da Graça Carvalho (EPP, PT) joins the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM).

European Commission

The Commission has appointed Christos Stylianides (CY) as special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU. Stylianides will be responsible to vice-president and commissioner for promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas. In his role, Stylianides will establish a dialogue with national authorities and other stakeholders in countries suffering from discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief. He will coordinate his activities closely with the EU Special Representative on Human Rights. Stylianides was formerly commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management from 2014-19.

Directorates-General and Services

Budget (BUDG)
Martin Koehler replaces Jan Carlsson as head of unit E2 (Accounting and reporting back-office).

Competition (COMP)
Karl Soukup replaces Carles Esteva Mosso as deputy director-general for state aid in an acting capacity.

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN)
Christine Frayne replaces Jonas Fischer as head of unit B1 (Macroeconomic imbalances). Fischer had been performing the role in an acting capacity.

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW)
Alvydas Stancikas replaces Marzena Rogalska as director of directorate E (Single market enforcement).
Matthias Schmidt-Gerdts replaces Ulla Engelmann as head of unit D4 (Inter-institutional relations, outreach) in an acting capacity.

Human Resources and Security (HR)
Marzena Rogalska has been appointed principal adviser for equal opportunities.

Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Margarida Goulart replaces Said Abousahl as head of unit A7 (Euratom Coordination).

Structural Reform Support (REFORM)
Nathalie Berger (FR) has been appointed as director for support to Member States reforms with the date of effect to be determined later. Berger has 20 years’ experience in the Commission and is currently deputy director and head of unit in charge of the regulation and supervision of the European banking sector in the Directorate-General for financial stability and capital markets (FISMA).


Myrto Zambarta (CY) has been appointed as head of the representation in Nicosia, commencing the role on 1 September. Zambarta, has 15 years’ experience in the Commission and has knowledge of, several EU policy areas, in particular of international trade and investment issues, as well as humanitarian aid and crisis management. Zambarta is currently the head of unit in the Directorate General for Trade, responsible for Multilateral Affairs and the World Trade Organisation.

Other EU Institutions and Agencies

European Central Bank (ECB)
The Executive Board has appointed Irene Heemskerk as head of the climate change centre as of 15 June. Heemskerk currently works as a sustainability fellow at the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation.

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)
Member states have chosen Petra Hielkema, the Director of Insurance Supervision at the Dutch Central Bank, to succeed Gabriel Bernardino as chair.

Public Affairs

European Policy Centre
Former adviser to Michel Barnier, Georg Emil Riekeles, has joined as associate director. Riekeles is the third associate director to be appointed this year following Ricardo Borges de Castro and Aileen McLeod earlier in the year.

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German Elections 2021 - stay informed about candidates and more!

Spotlight on... Annalena Baerbock (Greens)
Co-chair of the Green party Annalena Baerbock was unveiled as the candidate for chancellor in mid-April. Baerbock is the party’s first solo candidate in its four-decade history and this isn’t her only unique aspect. Baerbock is also currently the only female candidate and the youngest at 40 years of age. Her young age has been the topic of much speculation with critics claiming that she may not be assertive enough to lead the party and government. Critics have also cited her lack of previous experience in governmental positions of responsibility as a weakness.

Despite these criticisms, public opinion surrounding Baerbock’s candidacy has been extremely positive. Support for the Greens has grown since she was selected for the position and the party is now polling on par with the CDU. The united front demonstrated by Baerbock and fellow co-chair of the party Robert Habeck has resonated with voters and is in sharp contrast to the deep divisions that seem to be plaguing the CDU-CSU.

As far as policy priorities are concerned, Baerbock has pushed for stronger common EU foreign policy as well as the strengthening of European defence capabilities. On migration, she supports a more open policy with clear guidelines for the entire EU. In her nomination speech Baerbock said she wanted to make climate action "the yardstick for all sectors" in order to fulfil the Paris Agreement.

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National News

President Rumen Radev has announced that early parliamentary elections will be scheduled for 11 July just a month after the last elections which resulted in a political deadlock. Radev has also said that he expects a new electoral commission to be appointed on 11 May when he would also appoint a caretaker government to at least run for the next two months.

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

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