Movers and Shakers | 28 January 2019
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.
Today’s Movers & Shakers are about: An MEP leaves to lead his country, EP’s longest serving member makes reselection decision, Nominations open for ECB Chief Economist vacancy, Political deadlock in Sweden finally broken, Changes in the European Commission and public affairs appointments, Brexit and more…
Aleksejs LOSKUTOVS (EPP, LV) has taken his seat in the European Parliament, replacing new Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis KARIŅŠ for the remaining few months of this mandate.
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The European Parliament’s longest serving member Elmar BROK (EPP, DE) will not be standing for re-election. Earlier in January BROK had been left off the Christian Democratic Union’s provisional candidate list for North Rhine-Westphalia and he has decided not to contest the decision at the regional conference taking place this weekend.
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Communications (DG COMM)
There has been a comprehensive reshuffle of the Directorate-General. The new Directorates and Directors are as follows:
Directorate A (Political Communication and Services): Nathalie DAVIES (acting)
Directorate B (Strategy & Corporate Communication): Mikel LANDABASO ALVAREZ
Directorate C (Representation & Communication inMember States): Sixtine BOUYGUES (acting)
Directorate D (Resources): Fabrizia DE ROSA
Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL)
Patrick PAQUET is the new Head of Unit A5 (Cyprus, Greece), replacing former Acting Head of Unit Franz POINTNER.
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)
Philippe BRUNET has departed as Director of Directorate I (Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence). The position is currently vacant.
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European Central Bank
Ireland have officially nominated Philip LANE for the post of Chief Economist at the European Central Bank. LANE is currently the Central Bank of Ireland Governor and he may face competition from the Vice-governor of the Austrian Central Bank Andreas ITTNER.
The vacancy is due to Peter PRAET finishing his eight-year term on 31 May, and the decision will be made at the Eurogroup Council meeting on 11 February.
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European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development (CONCORD)
Tanya COX is the new Director, replacing Seamus JEFFRESON who had been in the for 5 years. COX joins CONCORD from Plan International EU and had previously worked at Save the Children and Human Rights Watch.
Karl PIHL will take over as the Head of Ericsson’s European Affairs Office on 15 February. He had previously been the Deputy Head of Office at the Volvo Group EU Representation Office.
News in a Nutshell
Parliament will vote next week on a non-binding Brexit motion with several MPs hoping to amend this to put restrictions on the government. Brexiteers are seeking to force government action on the Northern Ireland backstop and those firmly against a no-deal Brexit are pushing to prevent it.
The Labour Party indicated that they’d support an amendment introduced by backbench Labour MP Yvette COOPER to the Prime Minister’s Brexit motion, intended to eliminate the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. There are enough backbench Conservative MPs supportive of the motion to ensure that with the support of all opposition MPs, with the exception of the DUP, the amendment would pass.
Milena HRDINKOVÁ (Ind) will take over as the new State Secretary for European Affairs on 1 February. She will be replacing Aleš CHMELAŘ (Czech Social Democratic Party), who moved to a Deputy Minister position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have more freedom to disagree with Prime Minister Andrej BABIŠ (ANO 2011).
The Greek Parliament approved the Prespes agreement, which would normalise nations between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with the latter changed their name to “Northern Macedonia”, by 153 votes to 146.
Krišjānis KARIŅŠ was officially approved as Prime Minister on Wednesday, after Parliament voted 61-39 to approve the coalition government. The government will consist of the Unity Party (EPP), the New Conservative Party, Development-For! (ALDE), the National Alliance (ACRE) and KPV-LV, although five KPV-LV members voted against the formation of the government.
EU Commissioner Maroš ŠEFČOVIČ has announced he will run for the Slovakian Presidency in March.