Movers and Shakers | 28 May 2021

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: Several Parliamentary committee vice-chairs elected, Slovak MEP moves from ECR to Renew Europe group, Czech government to appoint fifth health minister since beginning of pandemic, Finland’s new finance minister, the latest Commission appointments, and more!

By Mia Bartoloni

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

28 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

ACP-EU Delegation (D-ACP)
Marie Arena (S&D, FR) has been appointed vice-chair of the delegation.

Karlo Ressler (EPP, HR) becomes third vice-chair of the committee replacing Edina Tóth.

Loránt Vincze (EPP, RO) has been appointed fourth vice-chair.

Viktor Uspaskich (NI, LT) joins the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE).
Chiara Gemma (NI, IT) joins the Culture and Education Committee (CULT).
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (ECR, PL) joins the Ukraine Delegation (D-UA) and the Euronest Delegation (D-EPA).
Maximilian Krah (ID, DE) joins the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET), the Human Rights Sub-committee (DROI) and the Security and Defence Sub-committee (SEDE).
Anna Zalewska (ECR, PL) moves from substitute to member on the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL).
Thomas Waitz (Greens/EFA, AT) leaves the Petitions Committee (PETI).
Jordi Solé I Ferrando (Greens/EFA, ES) joins the Israel Delegation (D-IL).

Lefteris Christoforou (EPP, CY) joins the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM).

Political Groups
Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (RE, SK) has left the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) to join the Renew Europe group in Parliament. Ďuriš Nicholsonová was elected as a member of the Slovak Freedom and Solidarity party during the 2019 elections but left the party earlier this year to continue as an independent. Speaking to the Slovak press, Ďuriš Nicholsonová explained that she had considered leaving the group for a while, primarily due to a divergence of positions on ethical and human rights issues. Ďuriš Nicholsonová will retain management of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL).

European Commission

Commissioner Cabinets
Tatiana Marquez Uriarte joins the cabinet of Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson. Her responsibilities will include Energy system integration follow up, gas internal market and security of supply, hydrogen strategy follow up, methane strategy follow up, oil and offshore safety and carbon capture and storage.  Marquez Uriarte was previously head of unit for Commission priorities and strategic coordination in the Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) between 2015-16.

Annelisa Cotone joins the cabinet of Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli. Her responsibilities will include Disability and inclusion, age and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Directorates-General and Services

Migration and Home Affairs (HOME)
Mauro Gagliardi replaces Francisco Gaztelu Mezquiriz as head of unit C1 (Irregular migrations and returns) in an acting capacity.

Other EU Institutions and Agencies

European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)
The Council of the European Union has officially appointed Petra Hielkema (NL) as the new chair. Hielkema’s mandate will begin on 1 September for a period of 5 years, renewable once.

European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO)
On Wednesday the Commission adopted a decision setting 1 June as the official start date for the EPPO.

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
Natasha Cazenave has been appointed as new executive director and will take up her position on 1 June 2021. Cazenave replaces Verena Ross for a five-year term, renewable once. She is currently deputy secretary-general and head of the policy and international affairs directorate at the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).
Derville Rowland, director-general (Financial Conduct) of the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI), has been appointed as the new chair of its Investment Management Standing Committee (IMSC). Rowland replaces Gabriela Figueiredo Dias, chair of the Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM) of Portugal, as chair of the standing committee, and will begin her term on 1 July 2021. The term is for two years.

Public Affairs

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National News

Czech Republic
Health minister Petr Arenberger has resigned, making him the fourth Czech minister for health to resign since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Arenberger announced his resignation following allegations that he had failed to declare properties and income when he took on his ministerial post. Arenberger will be replaced by Adam Vojtěch who was health minister when the pandemic began. Vojtěch will be in office until the end of the current government’s term with elections due later this year.

The chair of Finland’s Centre Party (ALDE), Annika Saarikko, has been appointed as new finance minister, replacing colleague, Matti Vanhanen. Saarikko, who is currently science and culture minister, has said that she will maintain a hard line in Brussels against future collective EU debt. Antti Kurvinen replaces Saarikko as minister for science and culture.

Minister for economic affairs Bas van ‘t Wout will take at least three months’ leave from his position, citing occupational fatigue and burn-out as the reason. Foreign minister Stef Blok and trade minister Sigrid Kaag will take over and share the economic affairs portfolio in his absence.

Agriculture minister Ján Mičovský has announced his resignation and will officially step down as of 31 May. Mičovský’s decision follows a scandal over the appointment of the former chair of the Slovak Land Fund Gabriela Bartošová who is currently in custody on charges of corruption. Bartošová had been appointed to her function by Mičovský. Details of his potential replacement are yet to be disclosed.

Prime minister Janez Janša has survived an impeachment motion with 42 votes in favour and 44 against, short of the majority required in the 90-member legislature. The vote confirms Janša in his position just over a month before Slovenia takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in July.

Justice minister Lilijana Kozlovič has resigned over the appointment of the European delegated prosecutors.

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