Movers and Shakers | 9 October 2017

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

09 Oct 2017

Today's Movers & Shakers are about:  the MEPs who are leaving the Parliament and changes in the composition of the political groups, latest appointments in the European Commission and our DGs' wallcahart, the creation of the European public prosecutor's office, new appointments in public affairs, Brexit and more.


European Parliament:

Ulrike LUNACEK (Greens/EFA, AT) announced that she will leave her seat, ahead of the national elections in Austria. Ms LUNACEK, who is currently Vice-President of the Parliament, announced the decision during the plenary session.  Get to know her in 5 questions.

Rory PALMER joined as member, replacing Glenis WILLMOTT (S&D, UK).

Composition of the political groups:
EFDD group:
French MEPs Florian PHILIPPOT, Sophie MONTEL and Mireille D'ORNANO left the ENF group and joined the EFDD group, effective 4 October. Following the defection, the seat breakdown is as follows:

National parties:
Kostas CHRYSOGONOS (GUE/NGL, EL) is leaving SYRIZA, following the elections of the socialist wing of the party that were held to decide whether the socialist members will keep being affiliated to SYRIZA or will defect and create a new political movement.

Composition of the committees and the delegations:

Răzvan POPA (S&D, RO) joined the committee on budgets (BUDG) and the delegation to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly (D-ACP).

Baroness Nosheena MOBARIK (ECR, UK) joined the delegation for relations with Japan (D-JP), replacing Syed KAMALL (ECR, UK).

Patricia LALONDE (ALDE, FR) joined the delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries (DMAS) and the delegation to the parliamentary assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (DMED), replacing Jean-Marie CAVADA (ALDE, FR).  

Benedek JÁVOR (Greens/EFA, HU) switched from substitute to member of the delegation to the Euronest parliamentary assembly (D-EPA).

James CARVER (EFDD, UK) joined the subcommittee on security and defence (SEDE).

Bronis ROPĖ (Greens/EFA, LT) switched from substitute to member of the delegation to the EU-Moldova parliamentary association committee (D-MD).

Gerolf ANNEMANS (ENF, BE) switched from substitute to member of the committee of constitutional affairs (AFCO).

Joëlle MÉLIN (ENF, FR) switched from substitute to member of the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI).

Norbert NEUSER (S&D, DE) joined the delegation to the Cariforum-EU parliamentary committee (D-CAR).

Baroness Nosheena MOBARIK (ECR, UK) joined the subcommittee on human rights (DROI), the delegation to the EU-Turkey joint parliamentary committee (D-TR) and the delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (D-ASE).

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Plenary session highlights:
Endocrine disruptors:
MEPs voted down with 389 votes to 235, with 70 abstentions the Commission’s proposal that would exclude some chemicals in pesticides from being identified as endocrine disruptors. The European Commission will now have to come up with a new proposal. Jytte GUTELAND (S&D, SE) and Bas EICKHOUT (Greens/EFA, NL) are Parliament’s rapporteurs.

Overcrowding in prisons: MEPs voted a resolution urging the national authorities to use alternatives to imprisonment where feasible, amid fears that overcrowding in prisons might boost radicalisation and crime. The Parliament’s suggestions as alternatives are community service, detention at home and electronic tagging for convicts of no serious danger to the society, while MEPs also recommended other measurements such as staff training and psychological care.  The resolution was backed with 474 votes to 109, with 34 abstentions. Joëlle BERGERON (EFDD, FR) is the rapporteur.

Situation in Catalonia: The Parliament held a debate on the recent developments in Catalonia in the wake of the independence referendum. European Commission First Vice-President Frans TIMMERMANS highlighted the importance of the rule of law. Commenting on the police violence, he said that, while it should not be seen as a solution, it is a duty of any government to uphold the rule of law, and this sometimes requires the proportionate use of force. The Parliament’s political leaders also condemned the violence but stressed that the referendum was not legal. See below for more.

Brexit: see below.


European Commission:

Our team have put together an updated wall chart listing all Directorates-General. This includes twitter accounts, all Directors-General, Vice-Presidents and Commissioners along with their nationalities. Download the wall chart.

Commissioners’ cabinets:
Cabinet of Jean-Claude JUNCKER:
Joelle MILQUET joins as a special advisor on compensation for victims of crime. Ms MILQUET is the former deputy prime minister of Belgium, and has previously served in the Belgian Senate.

Climate Action (CLIMA):

Directorate A – International and Mainstreaming: Elena VISNAR MALINOVSKA replaces Acting Head Claus KONDRUP as Head of Unit (Adaptation) within Directorate A.
Rudy VAN HORENBEEK became Acting Head of the newly created Unit for Financial Resources and Planning. He previously provided Administrative Support, Liaison with SRD, within the Climate Action Directorate-General.

Internal Audit Service:
Directorate C - Audit in Commission and Executive Agencies II: Niina LEHTINEN took over as Head of Unit (Audit Unit C3) from Rudi DRIES, who was Acting Head.

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW):
Directorate F – Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing: Anna ATHANASOPOULOU became Head of Unit (Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries), taking over from her Deputy, Iuliana ALUAS, who was Acting Head.

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

Directorate B - Institutional and Administrative Policies: Michael WIMMER has been appointed as Head of Unit, Corporate Management, Budget and Administration. He takes over from Pascal LEARDINI, Director of Directorate B, who served as Interim Head of Unit.
Directorate D – Policy Coordination I: Marcel HAAG has taken over as Acting Head of Unit (Internal Market and Competitiveness) in Directorate D, following Michael WIMMER’s transfer to Directorate B.

Spokesperson’s Service:
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs: Victoria VON HAMMERSTEIN-GESMOLD joined as Press Officer, taking over from Mirna TALKO.

Translation (DGT):
Hilde VAN LOON became Head of the Dutch Language Department within the Translation Directorate-General, taking over from Betsie KLEIN BRINKE, Deputy Head, who held the position on an acting basis.


European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO):

The European Parliament has approved by 456 votes to 115 with 60 abstentions the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor's Office. The Prosecutor will have responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of EU budget-fraud offences, something which currently only member-states have the power to pursue. It is hoped that the new office will complement the work of Eurojust and OLAF to help prevent and correct these offences.

The direction and strategy of the EPPO will be led by a Chief Prosecutor, supported by two deputy chief prosecutors, and a College of Prosecutors (one from each participating country). On an operational level, the EPPO will have a Permanent Chamber with three members (two European Prosecutors and chaired by the Chief Prosecutor or another prosecutor in their stead). The prosecutions directed by the Permanent Chamber will be investigated by European Delegated Prosecutors (EDPs), of whom there are expected to be at least two from each participating country. Currently only 20 nations are set to take part, with the other eight (Sweden, the Netherlands, Malta, Hungary, Poland, the UK, Ireland and Denmark) able to opt in should they choose.

The EPPO is expected to become operational in 2020 or 2021, and will be based in Luxembourg. Barbara MATERA (EPP, IT) is Parliament’s rapporteur.


Permanent Representations:

Poland:Jarosław STARZYK resigned as Permanent Representative, it was announced on Friday 6 October.


Committee of the Regions (CoR):

The assembly will host its 125th plenary session from Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 October. Newly elected President Karl-Heinz LAMBERTZ (PES, BE) will deliver the first ever State of Europe’s Regions and Cities on Tuesday.

The European Week of Regions and Cities will also take place from 9 to 13 October. The Cohesion Alliance will be launched on Monday during the opening session.

As the European Week of Regions and Cities kicks off today, read the new and improved Regional Review from the Parliament Magazine. Written in both English and French and including interviews with Karl-Heinz Lambertz and Corina Creţu, articles on the future of Europe and the battle over cohesion policy funding and more. The new-look magazine also includes a brand-new Regional Focus section on Brittany. 


Public affairs:

Got any new appointment you would like us to include in our next newsletter? Contact Ifigenia Balkoura!

American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmChamEU): Jeremy ROLLISON, director of EU government affairs, Microsoft, was elected vice-chair of the digital economy committee for a two-year term, replacing Fiona TAYLOR.

Brunswick: bolstered its public affairs offer by appointing former Director-General of DG FISMA of the European Commission Sir Jonathan FAULL as partner and chair of the European public affairs group. Sir Jonathan has also served as Director-General of the Task Force on Article 50 in the Commission. The firm also appointed former US ambassador to the EU, Anthony GARDNER, as senior advisor. The pair will be working on advising the firm’s clients on political context, including businesses through and post Brexit.

European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA): Martin DORSMAN was appointed as the new Secretary General, starting on 1 November.

European Former Foodstuff Processors Association (EFFPA): Paul FEATHERSTONE was re-elected as president for a two-year mandate. Kees VAN GORP and Sigrid PAUWELYN were re-elected as vice-president and treasurer respectively.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: The European Commission published its assessment of the 27 member states’ offers to host the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority after Brexit. Business continuity and staff retention are key factors that will be taken into account.

The European Parliament held a debate during its plenary session in Strasbourg and adopted a resolution stating that sufficient progress has not been made on the three key issues (financial settlement, EU citizens’ rights and Northern Ireland borders) and that the EU27 leaders should postpone their assessment of Brexit ahead of the Council summit on 20 October. Read more.

Austria: Austrian voters head to the polls on Sunday 15 October.

Catalonia:  On Thursday the Spanish Constitutional Court ordered the suspension of a session in the Catalan regional parliament scheduled for Monday 10 October, when a vote on the declaration of independence was due to take place.

Hungary: Lajos KÓSA was appointed as minister without portfolio. Previously he was the Fidesz parliamentary group leader.

Netherlands: State Secretary for justice, Klaas DIJKHOFF was appointed as the new defence minister, replacing Jeanine HENNIS-PLASSCHAERT, who stepped down over a mortar grenade accident during a training exercise in Mali that resulted in the death of two Dutch soldiers.

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


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