Movers and Shakers | 1 March 2019
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.
Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: A former EP President is set to return to Brussels, Parliament and Council disagree on who should be the first EU Chief Prosecutor, The EESC Workers’ Group has a new President, Estonia set for Parliamentary Elections, The latest appointments in the European Commission, Brexit and more!
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Former President of the European Parliament Josep BORRELL will head up the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PES) candidate list. BORRELL led the Parliament for the first half of the 2004-09 term and is currently Spain’s Foreign Minister.
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Directorate-General for Informatics (DG DIGIT)
Yves PATERNOSTER is no longer Head of Unit C6 (Digital Workplace Engineering), with Franky KEPPENS becoming Acting Head of Unit.
Dirk STOCKMANS leaves the position of Head of Unit D3 (Trans-European Services), and Emanuele BALDACCI becomes Acting Head of Unit.
EU Agencies and Bodies
European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO)
The European Parliament backed Laura Codruţa KÖVESI (RO) as their preferred candidate to become the EU’s first Chief Prosecutor to lead the new organisation. This was at odds with the Council of Ministers who had preferred Jean-François BOHNERT (FR) so the two institutions will look to resolve the deadlock before the elections in May.
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European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
Oliver RÖPKE (AT) has taken over as President of the Workers’ Group, replacing Gabriele BISCHOFF. BISCHOFF is #9 on the Social Democratic Party of Germany’s European Parliament candidate list and is set to return to Brussels as an MEP in June.
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MPs voting on Wednesday in support of Prime Minister Theresa MAY’s Brexit strategy but only after a series of concessions. Parliament unanimously supported an amendment introduced by Conservative MP Alberto COSTA that called for the rights of EU citizens in the UK and vice versa to be legally protected in the case of a No Deal Brexit; while Labour MP Yvette COOPER’s amendment which committed the government to give MPs a vote on delaying Brexit if Parliament rejects both MAY’s deal and a no deal Brexit passed by 512-20 after the government supported the amendment.
The Labour Party came out in support of a second referendum after its proposed alternative for Brexit was defeated in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The Independent Group has officially allocated roles and responsibilities to their members; with Chuka UMUNNA being appointed as group “spokesperson”, which appears to be their main leadership position.
Parliamentary elections take place on Sunday. The Reform Party, led by ex-MEP Kaja KALLAS, and Prime Minister Jüri RATAS’ Centre Party are vying for first place, but as both parties are members of ALDE there is unlikely to be a change in the political composition of the European Council.