A European Parliament (EP) committee requested, on Monday evening, that the European Commission reassesses the procedure which has led to the controversial appointment of Martin Selmayr to the post of Secretary General. He was the right-hand man of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The German offical, who entered the European Commission in 2004, was Juncker’s head of cabinet up until 21st February. On that day he was appointed Deputy Secretary General, and then a few minutes afterwards Secretary General in the European Commission, the highest post in the institution’s administration. No vacancy advertisement was published.
The particularly rapid appointment has aroused a multitude of questions. Although the European Commission has ensured that all rules have indeed been respected, the matter has been scrutinised by a parliamentary committee.
On Monday evening, the Budgetary Control Committee in the parliament adopted a resolution to be voted upon during a plenary session on Wednesday. The text claims that the promotion of Selmayr has similarities to a “coup”, which may have exceeded legal boundaries.
No less than 129 amendments had been placed before the Parliament to change the initial proposal, especially by the European Popular Party (EPP), the political grouping of Messrs Juncker and Selmayr. However, the expression making reference to “a coup” survived the amendments.
A further amendment requests that the Commission reassesses the relevant procedures, so as to offer other members of the European public body the opportunity to become candidates for the role. Moreover, the text requests that the European Executive elaborates “open and transparent” nomination procedures.
The resolution was adopted by a large majority of 22 votes against against some 4 abstentions.