Movers and Shakers | 9 July 2018

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

09 Jul 2018

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: the new MEP and which Estonian MEP is leaving the Parliament, latest appointments in the European Commission and public affairs, the resignation of the UK Brexit secretary and more.


European Parliament:

Incoming and outgoing MEPs:
Romeo FRANZ (Greens/EFA, DE) joined the Parliament, replacing Jan Philip ALBRECHT.
Kaja KALLAS (ALDE, EE) handed in her notice as of 5 September.

Composition of the political groups:
MEPs Peter LUNDGREN and Kristina WINBERG defected from the EFDD group and joined the ECR group as members, after their Sweden Democrats party was officially approved as member of the ECR group. Mr LUNDGREN was previously a Vice-Chair of the EFDD group. The move comes two months before the national elections in Sweden on 9 September.

The new composition of the Parliament is as follows:

Composition of the committees and delegations:

Traian UNGUREANU (EPP, RO) joined the delegation to the EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committees and the EU-Georgia parliamentary association committee (D-SCA), replacing Ramona MANESCU (EPP, RO).
Urmas PAET (ALDE, EE) joined the delegation to the EU-Ukraine parliamentary association committee (D-UA) and thedDelegation to the Euronest parliamentary assembly (D-EPA).
Tilly METZ (Greens/EFA, LU) joined the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) and the delegation for relations with India (D-IN).
Romeo FRANZ (Greens/EFA, DE) joined the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE), the special committee on terrorism (TERR) and the delegation for relations with Israel (D-IL).

Romeo FRANZ (Greens/EFA, DE) joined the committee on the internal market and consumer protection (IMCO) and the delegation for relations with Australia and New Zealand (D-ANZ).

Intergroup on the welfare and conservation of animals:
John FLACK (ECR, UK) was elected as a new Vice-President.

Plenary highlights:
Future of Europe debate:
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz MORAWIECKI addressed the plenary session, where he mainly focused on economy rather than the rule of law. He called on the EU to adopt new competition rules for the digital era and expressed his satisfaction at the EU’s investment in defense. In his speech, MORAWIECKI also called for a more realistic EU approach in managing the migration flows to regain EU citizens’ trust.

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European Commission:

Commissioner's Cabinets:
Cabinet of Marianne THYSSEN:
Former head of unit, central services and offices at the Directorate B of the Internal Audit Service Christoph NERLICH joined as member. Mr NERLICH replaces Baudouin BAUDRU, who had the role of cabinet's expert and will be in charge of budgetary planning and financial management, the European Social Fund, social economy, relations with national parliaments, and gender equality, among others.

Budget (DG BUDG):

Directorate B – Revenue and Multiannual financial framework: Andreas SCHWARTZ was appointed as acting director, replacing Stefan LEHNER.

Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT):
The role of the adviser for cross-cutting policy/research issue that was previously vacant was scrapped and a new adviser role for artificial intelligence was created, but has not yet been filled in. The role of the adviser for innovation systems that was previously held by Bror SALMELIN became vacant.
Directorate A: was renamed from digital industry to artificial intelligence and digital industry. Lucilla SIOLI remains the director.
Directorate D – Policy Strategy and Outreach: Lorena BOIX-ALONSO, who was previously head of unit, policy implementation and planning, was appointed as acting director, replacing Linda CORUGEDO STENEBERG.
Directorate G – Data: data applications and creativity unit (G2) was renamed to interactive technologies, digital for culture and education. Rehana SCHWINNINGER-LADAK remains the head of unit.
Learning, multilingualism and accessibility unit (G3) who was previously headed by Marco MASRELLA has now been renamed to accessibility, multilingualism and safer internet. June LOWERY-KINGSTON, previously head of the administration and finance unit (G4) in the same directorate was appointed as the new head.
Mikaela FARR-DAVID replaced June LOWERY-KINGSTON as head of the administration and finance unit on an acting basis.
Directorate H – Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity: Marco MASRELLA was appointed as the new head of unit, e-health, wellbeing and ageing, replacing Miguel GONZÁLEZ-SANCHO. The latter was appointed as head of the newly created cybersecurity technology and capacity building unit (H1). 
The administration and finance unit (H5), headed by Griet VAN CAENEGEM was dropped.
Directorate R – Resources and Support: HR business correspondent and support services was renamed as HR business correspondent and budget (R1). Ingrid MARIËN-DUSAK remains as head.
Budget and finance unit (R2) was renamed as administration and finance and Griet VAN CAENEGEM replaced Ingrid MARIËN-DUSAK, who was acting in the role.
Programme operations and common services unit (R5) was renamed to programme implementation. It is still headed by Elisabeth LIPIATOU.

Research and Innovation (RDT):
Directorate E – Health: Irene NORSTEDT was appointed acting director, replacing Ms Line-Gertrud MATTHIESSEN-GUYADER. Barbara KERSTIENS also replaced Ms Line-Gertrud MATTHIESSEN-GUYADER as acting head of fighting infections, diseases and advancing public health.

Eurostat (ESTAT):
Two new adviser roles were created. Pierre BISCHOFF was appointed adviser for internal relations and Guillermo DAVILA MURO was appointed adviser for interinstitutional relations.
The communication unit (DG.01) was renamed as external and interinstitutional relations; communication, and Lukasz AUGUSTYNIAK was appointed new acting head, replacing Timothy ALLEN who was also acting in the role.
Directorate A: was renamed from co-operation in the European Statistical System; international cooperation; resources to resources. Laurs NØRLUND left his role as principal adviser and became the new director of the unit, replacing Pieter EVERAERS. The European Statistical System governance and external relations unit (A1) was renamed to IT governance, service and relationship management and Titus PURDEA replaced Cristina PEREIRA DE SÁ as head of the unit.
Strategy and planning (A2) changed its name to planning and evaluation; statistical training, maintaining Annika NÄSLUND as head of unit.
Statistical cooperation (A3) was renamed as IT solutions for statistical production. Giorgio BENALI was appointed as new head of unit, replacing acting head Ceri THOMPSON.
Legal and institutional affairs; relations with EP; document management (A5) was renamed to legal affairs, document management. Helena OTTOSSON remains as head of unit.
Directorate B: was renamed from methodology; corporate statistical and IT services to methodology: dissemination; cooperation in the European Statistical System. Eduardo BARREDO CAPELOT remains as director.
Methodology and corporate architecture (B1) changed its name to methodology: innovation in official statistics. IT governance, service and relationship management (B2) was renamed as strategy and programming; ESS governance. Cristina PEREIRA DE SÁ replaced Christian GOEDERT as head of this unit.
IT solutions for statistical production (B3) was renamed as enlargement, neighbourhood and development cooperation and Avis BENEŠ was appointed as new head, replacing Giorgio BENALI.
Digital dissemination (B4) was renamed as dissemination and user support.
Directorate C: was renamed as macro-economic statistics.
Directorate D – Government finance statistics (GFS) and quality: Gita BERGERE started her new role as head of excessive deficit procedure, replacing Lena FREJ OHLSSON.
Directorate E – Sectoral and regional statistics: Christine WIRTZ was appointed as acting director, replacing Marcel JORTAY. Christian GOEDERT was appointed head of transport (E3) replacing Ruxandra ROMAN ENESCU, who started her new role as head of regional statistics and geographical information (E4). Ms ROMAN ENESCU replaced Gunter SCHÄFER. Finally, Madeleine MAHOVSKY was appointed head of energy, replacing Gita BERGERE.
Directorate G: was renamed from global business statistics to business and trade statistics, and Sophie LIMPACH was appointed new director replacing Maria Helena FIGUEIRA.
Structural business statistics and global value chains (G2) was renamed as European business, and Carsten OLSSON replaced Axel BEHRENS as head.
Business cycle, tourism and registers (G3) was renamed as business cycle; short-term statistics. August GÖTZFRIED remains as head of unit.
Innovation and information society (G4) changed its name to innovation and digitalisation. Ales CAPEK was appointed as head, replacing Carsten OLSSON.
Goods - production and international trade (G5) changed its name to trade in goods and a new unit (G6) was created with the name of trade in services: globalisation. Axel BEHRENS was appointed head of this unit.

Secretariat-General (SG):
Brexit Preparedness Group: Dorthe CHRISTENSEN replaced former acting head Pascal LEARDINI.

Spokesperson's Service: Giulia ASTUTI started her new role as press officer for competition, replacing Yizhou REN who recently joined Margrethe VESTAGER's team.

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

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA):

170 scientific experts selected for EFSA’s 10 scientific panels have elected their chairs and started their work. Full details here.


Austrian Presidency:

Austria took over the European Council Presidency from Bulgaria on 1 July.

Dods EU Monitoring has prepared a guide outlining the priorities and key dates of the Austrian presidency. Download it for free here.


Public affairs:

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APPLiA: Peter Goetz, executive Vice-President of BSH Europe, has been officially appointed to be the new president, replacing Reinhard ZINKANN, who was appointed as Vice-President.

Cambre Associates: chief executive officer Tom PARKER is taking on an international role as chief sales officer at the SEC Group. Victoria MAIN, head of technology and media, succeeded him as CEO.

European Business Aviation Association (EBAA): Athar Husain KHAN was appointed as the new Secretary-General as of 2 July.

European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP): Turi FIORITO was appointed as director as of 20 August, having worked as a transport policy advisor for MEP Wim VAN DE CAMP (EPP, NL). He will replace Alexander VAN DEN BOSCH.

WWF European Policy Office: Ester Asin MARTINEZ was appointed as the new director as of 1 October, taking over from Andrea KOHL.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: UK Brexit secretary David DAVIS resigned on Sunday 8 July, following the Chequers meeting. In his letter to Theresa MAY he said that he was ‘unpersuaded that the UK’s negotiating approach, as agreed in the Chequers will not just lead to further demands for concessions’ and he added that he inevitable consequence of the proposed policies will be to make the supposed control by Parliament illusory rather than real. Dominic RAAB, housing minister and prominent campaigner for leaving the EU was appointed as the new Brexit secretary.

Brexit minister Steve BAKER also tendered his resignation as he “could not back a soft Brexit plan that would have been the "centrepiece" of his job at the Department for Exiting the European Union”.

Prior to DAVIS’s resignation, Theresa MAY secured a deal about the UK’s position on Brexit, according to which it will seek a free trade area of goods but services will be part of it. The jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will end, but "the UK and the EU would establish a joint institutional framework to provide for the consistent interpretation and application of UK-EU agreements by both parties”. Regarding the customs union, the document says that “the UK and the EU would work together on the phased introduction of a new Facilitated Customs Arrangement that would remove the need for customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU as if a combined customs territory”. As for the free movement of people, it will end but it will continue in some form. Summary of the deal here.

Reacting to the news, European Parliament’s chief negotiator Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, BE) said that he enjoyed the cooperation with David DAVIS and he hoped the UK to unite around a position to conclude a broad Association Agreement with the EU, as it is in the interest of both that the negotiations move forward.

Earlier last week, Theresa MAY met German Chancellor Angela MERKEL on Thursday 5 July in Berlin, to discuss the ongoing Brexit negotiations. MERKEL said that the talks are at a crucial phase and clarity about the future relationship with the EU is needed by October. German companies operating in the UK have already raised concerns about the how the UK will be trading in the future.

Ahead of the Chequers meeting, forthy-six Conservative MPs wrote to Theresa MAY urging her not to ignore the voice of the businesses ahead of the meeting. Speaking about business, Jaguar Land Rover warned that 40.000 jobs could be at risk over Brexit uncertainty.

EU officials were accused of wrongly warning British aid firms that they would lose out on funding in the case of no deal, as they will still be entitled to funds due to the UK’s membership of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

European Parliament chief negotiator Guy VERHOFSTADT sent a letter on behalf of the Brexit steering committee and the chair of the committee on civil liberties, home and justice (LIBE), Claude MORAES (S&D, UK) to the UK home secretary Sajid JAVID regarding the EU citizens’ rights. Responding to the UK’s policy paper ‘EU Settlement Scheme statement of intent’ on how EU citizens and their families can get settled status in the UK, VERHOFSTADT highlights it is of great importance that the Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) which will be replaced temporarily by the Independent Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) is up and running as of March 2019 and urged the UK Government to provide more details on the powers and responsibilities of IMA. He expressed MEPs’ dissatisfaction with the fact that the ERU citizens will have to pay for registration and mentioned that the Brexit Steering Committee will investigate the extent to which the EU27 member states have prepared for the implementation of the withdrawal agreement regarding British citizens on the continent. He asked for more details regarding the vulnerable citizens and suggested that a short cut-off should be defined as for the registration process. Full letter here.  

The UK’s European Union select committee published its report on data flows and data protection post-Brexit and the department for environment, food and rural affairs published a White Paper on fisheries, that will give the UK full control of its waters and the ability to set fishing opportunities for future generations.  

EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER addressed IIEA on Friday, where he talked about the border issue. BARNIER reaffirmed that the EU doesn’t want new borders in the island of Ireland and that goodwill on both sides will allow to de-dramatise the backstop. He laid down four tests for the Irish border deal: the protection of the peace process, the frictionless trade for goods, the ability of farmers to move livestock and produce over the border and the continuation of the island electricity market.

EFDD group leader Nigel FARAGE said that he has no choice but to return to the frontline politics if Brexit is delayed beyond March 2019. FARAGE has been an MEP since 1999, and has constantly failed to be elected to the Westminster.



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