MEPs ask for Commission reassessment of Secretary General appointment

Resolution appointed today requests reassessment of Martin Selmayr appointment to give other candidates chance to apply and ensure transparent application procedures

MEPs have passed a resolution asking the Commission to reassess its appointment of Martin Selmayr as its Secretary Generak
MEPs have passed a resolution asking the Commission to reassess its appointment of Martin Selmayr as its Secretary Generak

MEPs have today adopted a resolution asking for the appointment of the European Commission’s Secretary General Martin Selmayr to be reconsidered, as they called his nomination a “coup-like action”, possibly over-stretching the limits of the law.

They are asking for the appointment procedure to be reassessed to give other candidates the possibility to apply and to conduct open and transparent application procedures in the future.

They also want the Commission to acknolwledge that its reputation had been undermined by the procedure to appoint Selmayr.

Selmayr’s appointment as Secretary General in March 2018 provoked anger amongst MEPs, who widely considered him to have been given the post in apparent violation of EU norms. He had been made Deputy Secretary General in February this year, but later promptly elevated to his current post following the resignation of the previous Secretary General Alexander Italianer.

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“Mr Selmayr, hitherto Head of the Cabinet of Commission President Jean - Claude Juncker, was appointed at first as deputy Secretary-General and then Secretary-General of the Commission on the same day. The procedure leading to the appointment of the Secretary-General, the Commission’s top civil servant, was conducted in such a way that no other candidate was able to apply,” the MEPs said in a press statement.

“The resolution calls on all EU institutions to fill positions through internal transfers only when staff have been properly notified and to prefer open and transparent procedures aimed at selecting the best qualified candidates. “All vacant posts should be published in the interest of transparency, integrity and equal opportunity,” the MEPs emphasised.

The resolution, they said, calls on the Commission to review its procedure for the appointment of senior officials by the end of 2018.

“Moreover, MEPs see the need for the Commission to update the rules to guarantee that the Secretary-General has a neutral role, and also point to an ongoing European Ombudsman inquiry into the appointment that would detect any possible instances of maladministration,” they added.

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