MEPs to grill EU Commission over Selmayr appointment

Written by Martin Banks on 20 March 2018 in News

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will be asked to provide further information on the controversial appointment of his new secretary-general Martin Selmayr.

Martin Selmayr | Photo credit: European Commission audiovisual

MEPs will put a series of detailed written questions to Juncker on Tuesday.

Günther Oettinger, the European Commissioner in charge of budget and human resources, will also be formally quizzed on Selmayr’s appointment, which took effect from 1 March, at a public hearing to be held by Parliament’s budgetary control committee next week.

It has been alleged that the procedure used to appoint Selmayr, a  German lawyer and former chief of staff to  Juncker, has lacked “integrity and transparency.”



Following a recent plenary debate on the issue, Parliament asked the budgetary control committee to draft and table a resolution, to be put to a vote at a forthcoming plenary session in Strasbourg.

This has been provisionally set for 19 April together with a vote on the budgetary discharge to the Commission.

The Commission has until 26 March to respond, when the committee  will vote on the discharge of the Commission budget. The Greens/EFA group is calling for a postponement.

Oettinger is expected to address a committee hearing on 27 March and a resolution on the Selmayr scandal is due in the April plenary.

The Greens/EFA group in Parliament has drafted what it calls a “rigorous” questionnaire on the Selmayr appointment for investigation by the budget control committee.

The questions were drafted by Greens deputies Bart Staes and Sven Giegold. Staes is a member of the budget control committee, while Giegold is Parliament’s rapporteur on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions.

The long list of questions, seen by this website, include, “How many candidates took part in the external evaluation? If fewer candidates participated in the external evaluation than candidatures received, can the Commission provide us with reasons why some candidates would change their intention to run for a position of deputy secretary general (DSG)?

“The Commission argues the decision had to be taken immediately because it is of so overriding importance to have no gap in this top post and to have no undue influence and pressure by external actors, such as the member states.

“If it is true that Juncker knew already since to and a half years that Italianer would leave the service by 1 March/1 April why did he wait then until 31 January to open a vacancy for the post of deputy Secretary-General?

“Selmayr has held an AD15 position as the head of Juncker’s cabinet since 2017 but please provide the committee with the full record of his career within the EU institutions, including each position - status (official, seconded official, temporary), grade, date of promotion;

“What concours, besides that of DSG, did he pass? When did he pass those concours? What was his entry grade when starting the service?”

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine


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