Let other people apply for the job – POLITICO


Martin Selmayr at the European Parliament in Strasbourg | Patrick Seeger/EFE via EPA

Committee calls on Commission to ‘reassess the procedure of appointment’ of top civil servant.

STRASBOURG — The promotion of Martin Selmayr as the European Commission’s top civil servant was not transparent and other candidates should be allowed to apply for the job, MEPs said Monday.

The European Parliament’s powerful Budgetary Control Committee voted by 22 to 3 (with 4 abstentions) for a text that strongly criticized the lack of transparency surrounding Selmayr’s appointment as Commission secretary-general in February. He had been Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief of staff.

The committee called on the Commission to “reassess the procedure of appointment” and “to give other possible candidates within the public administration the possibility to apply and hence to allow for a wider choice among potential candidate from the same function and grade.”

The text also urges the Commission to carry out “open and transparent application procedures” in the future and calls on “all institutions and bodies of the European Union” to put an end to the practice of “parachuting“ which “risks to damage procedures and thus the credibility of the EU.”

The vote was an indication of the mood in the assembly about Selmayr’s controversial appointment. All MEPs will vote on the resolution in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Selmayr’s surprise appointment was criticized by MEPs from across the political spectrum.

“I now expect Jean-Claude Juncker to acknowledge that the followed procedure was politically flawed,” said Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch liberal MEP and a member of the committee.

Selmayr’s surprise appointment was criticized by MEPs from across the political spectrum, who said it stretched recruitment rules to breaking point. MEPs are also unhappy about how senior administrative roles in the European Parliament are filled.

Last month, POLITICO reported that a group of individuals have been hand-picked for nine director-level positions (with salaries of at least €14,000 a month) in the Parliament’s civil service.

Earlier Monday, MEPs on the Budgetary Control Committee supported an amendment which proposed letting members of staff representative bodies sit on Parliament’s senior management selection panels in a bid to open up the recruitment process.

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