European Parliament committee requests reassessment of Selmayr appointment

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 is the right-hand man of Jean-Claude Juncker.

The German, who entered the European Commission in 2004, was Principal Private Secretary for the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker up until 21st February. On that day he was appointed Deputy Secretary General, and then a few minutes after General Secretary for 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 of the rules have indeed been respected, the matter has gone before the European Parliament.

On Monday evening, the Committee on Budgetary Control in the EP adopted a resolution to be voted upon during a plenary session on Wednesday. The text claims that the promotion of Mr Selmayr has similarities to a “coup”, which may have gone beyond 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.

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