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Selmayr Appointment Another Example of Juncker Commission’s Disregard for Basic Rules

On 21 February, Martin Selmayr was appointed Secretary General of the European Commission, effective as of 1 March. The appointment happened through an expedited process that manifestly violates the spirit of the rules for such appointments. A fake candidate loyal to Selmayr was put forward with the only intention to have a female candidate, which was a requirement at that stage. She withdrew her candidacy and was promoted Selmayr’s successor as Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s Chief of Staff. French journalist Jean Quatremer has written an account of the appointment process here.

The way in which Martin Selmayr was appointed Secretary General of the European Commission significantly weakens the integrity of European institutions. The Juncker Commission displays a complete disregard for elementary democratic rules. We have seen this many times before - with secretive trade negotiations that were designed to keep elected officials and citizens in the dark; with Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen’s inability to provide details about his talks with former Commission President and current investment bank lobbyist José Manuel Barroso; or with Energy and Climate “Action” Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete’s multiple scandals including his involvement in the Panama Papers. The European People’s Party and its top politicians are treating European institutions as their personal playground and the rest of us are paying the price. Such intransparent actions threatens to further diminish the trust people place in the European project and plays in the hands of those who want to destroy our Union. The EPP must stop undermining our common European institutions with its officials’ repeated disregard for basic rules of transparency.