Movers & Shakers | 11 October 2022

Two new MEPs join the ranks of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Tony Murphy officially takes office as President of the European Court of Auditors and more...
Conference room of the European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium in 2011 | Photo: Alamy

By Centine Johansson

Centine Johansson is the EU Reference Data Editor at Dods

11 Oct 2022

European Parliament

Constanze Krehl (S&D, DE) left the European Parliament on 2 October. Krehl joined the chamber in February 1991 as an observer and became an elected member in 1994. A former chairman of the state branch of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Saxony, she was the only East German SPD member in the European Parliament in the current parliamentary term. For the last decade and a half, Krehl focused on regional policy and EU relations with Central America. In the late 1990s, she chaired the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (D-RU).

Matthias Ecke (S&D, DE) was elected on 3 October as Krehl’s replacement. Prior to joining the European Parliament, Ecke was a strategic planning officer at the Saxon State Ministry of Economic Affairs and held several positions in the German Bundestag. Ecke has already swiftly taken over several of Krehl’s duties in the EP including joining the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) and Delegation for relations with Belarus (D-BY) on 3 October.

Carina Ohlsson (S&D, SE) was elected to the European Parliament on 26 September. She replaces Jytte Guteland (S&D, SE), who left Parliament on 25 September to join Sweden’s new national government. Ohlsson joined the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and the Delegation for relations with the United States (D-US) as a substitute.

European Institutions

On 1 October, Tony Murphy officially took office as President of the European Court of Auditors for a renewable three-year term. He replaced Klaus-Heiner Lehne, who presided over the institution beginning in 2016.

National Governments

Following Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s re-election to a fourth consecutive term in the Hungarian parliamentary elections, MEP of the opposition Socialists Party Istvan Ujhelyi (S&D, HU) quit his national party. In a written statement Ujhelyi cited the party’s current mechanisms and ”short-sighted futurelessness” as the primary concerns driving his decision. Ujhelyi will continue representing Hungary as an MEP.

On 2 October, voters in Bulgaria elected 240 members to the country’s National Assembly. It was the country’s fourth general election in two years following the collapse of the government led by Vikiril Petkov in June. With 99 percent of the votes counted as of 3 October, partial official results show the center right GERB party, headed by ex-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, winning with 25.4 per cent of the vote. Forming a stable government coalition will be no easy task.

European Associations

Philipp Goedecker joined the European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry (COCIR) as digital health senior manager. Prior to joining COCIR, Goedecker was a senior policy officer in the international affairs unit of the German Farmers’ Association (DBV). He also worked in the European Parliament as a parliamentary assistant. Goedecker replaced Giedre Kvedaraviciene, who left to pursue a PhD in Healthcare Economics as a Fulbright Scholar at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland.

Paul Krajnik was re-elected as the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) Management Board Chair on 30 September. He remains the Deputy Director for Chemicals Policy and Biocides and Head of Biocides at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. The ECHA Board also appointed Dr Sharon McGuinness as a new Executive Director. She will begin her first five-year term on 1 December 2022.

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