ECR Group call for Commission to explain appointment process for new Secretary General

Feb 28, 2018


The ECR Group has taken a decision today to ask that the Commission to come to the European Parliament plenary in order to answer important questions regarding the transparency and integrity of their processes for appointing top officials.

This follows the announcement from the European Commission on  Wednesday the 21st February that their Secretary General, Alexander Italianer, had retired with immediate effect and that Martin Selmayr, the current Chef de Cabinet of Commission President Jean Claude Juncker would replace him. A number of questions and concerns have been raised surrounding the appointment and the processes of the Commission, namely the speed at which the appointment was made and the way this was communicated to both the College of Commissioners and the public.

Speaking after the Group adopted the decision, ECR Czech MEP Jan Zahradil who drafted the oral question that will be submitted on behalf of the Group said:

“If the public and voters are to have faith in the EU institutions and see them as accountable and transparent institutions, then there are clear questions of procedure and application of the rules that the Commission must answer.

“The Commission is adamant they have followed the letter of the law – this may be the case but it doesn’t appear to be in the spirit of the law. There are still questions to be answered on the transparency, integrity and accountability of the whole process.”

The Oral Question will now be submitted by the Group and raised at next week’s Conference of Presidents agenda where we will move to place the item on the parliament’s Strasbourg agenda.

Within the ECR question, we ask the following questions:

  • Whilst the Commission has stated that the recruitment of the new Secretary General has complied with the necessary rules and procedures, does the Commission believe that it has acted in the spirit of the rules, and in good faith with regard to transparency and fairness?
  • Does the Commission believe that its current rules and procedures regarding the recruitment of senior civil servants is sufficiently transparent and fair?
  • Does the Commission believe that the recruitment process as it stands, allows them as an institution to consider a wide range of candidates with different skills and experiences?
  • Given the limited time journalists were given to prepare for the press point, does the Commission intend to review its strategy with regard to informing the press and public on major decisions and announcements?