Real enquiry into shady appointment of Selmayr begins now

12 March 2018

Real enquiry into shady appointment of Selmayr begins now

The debate on the dubious appointment of Martin Selmayr as Secretary General of the European Commission left SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong feeling reasonably satisfied. “The European Parliament voted virtually unanimously for the proposal which I presented along with the Greens to the effect that the Budgetary Control Committee of the EP should carry out a detailed assessment of the appointment procedure. The information presented by the Commission itself via Commissioner Gunther Oettinger fell well short of what was needed. Not a single question was answered. But as a result of massive pressure from the EP he was forced to promise full cooperation with the enquiry. I'm already sharpening the knives, because as the spokesman on budgetary control for the United European Left group, I'll be taking an active part in the enquiry.”

Jean-Claude Juncker's Commission has repeatedly failed to answer questions on Selmayr's hasty appointment, first of all from the media, and today also from the European Parliament. “The Juncker Commission doesn't seem to realise that they're playing with fire,” says De Jong. “By continuing to maintain that in making the appointment they followed all the rules, they are showing their arrogance. The whole affair stinks. How could it be otherwise when before Selmayr´s appointment to Assistant Secretary General there were no other candidates, while his promotion to Secretary General was pulled off in a couple of minutes. We even had European Commissioners saying they were amazed, despite all of them voting to approve it. Also, the departure of the previous SG, the Dutchman Alexander Italianer, came as a complete surprise and was deliberately kept secret.”

If the Commission fails to deal with this, the consequences could be serious, as De Jong explains. “In 1999 the Santer Commission was forced to step down, also because of questions of integrity. Juncker has learnt nothing from this. He thinks with his arrogant attitude to get away with this, but that's not going to happen. If during the enquiry we find that despite all of its commitments the Commission is holding back information, I won't hesitate to present a motion of no confidence in the name of my group. What I noticed today was that many fellow MEPs from left to right are as sick of this arrogance as I am. Things are going to get lively over the next few weeks.”

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