European Parliament censures Commission over mishandling of Secretary General appointment
The European Parliament has today backed a resolution criticising the European Commission for its handling of the appointment of Martin Selmayr as Commission Secretary General. The resolution calls on the European Commission to “reassess the procedure of appointment of the new Secretary General in order to give other possible candidates within the European public administration the possibility to apply" and for the process to be revised so that future appointments are open and transparent.
MEPs also voted on the discharge of the Commission’s budget for 2016. In response to the Selmayr scandal, one of a series of problems regarding ethics and conflicts and interest in the European Commission, the Greens/EFA group called for a postponement of the discharge of the European Commission's budget. This was rejected.
The Greens/EFA group has also produced a proposal for future appointments of senior management positions in the European Parliament. The proposals are available here: http://extranet.greens-efa-service.eu/public/media/file/1/5555
Greens/EFA MEP Bart Staes comments:
"The Commission only has itself to blame for this scandal. Anointing their chosen candidate without any scrutiny was bound to cause outrage. Not only have they damaged their own reputation, they have cast doubt on the integrity of the EU institutions.
"We work hard to convince voters that the EU represents their interests and to tackle the pernicious myths of a self-serving old boys club. The Commission's recent actions have made this task that bit harder, but they can still do the right thing and re-open the appointment of the Secretary General. We also expect a clear commitment that future selection processes will be open and transparent. All the EU institutions should make sure their houses are in order, including the Parliament where we hope that the proposals we have consistently put forward for years for improving recruitment of senior officials will at last be taken seriously.
"It is regrettable that MEPs did not take this chance to take concrete action. Postponing the discharge in response to the Commission’s mishandling of this process would have sent a strong signal that riding roughshod over ethical concerns will have real consequences."