EU Secretary General appointment investigated after Dutch insistence

Martin Selmayr
Martin Selmayr. Photo: Saeima / Wikimedia Commons

The European Parliament launched a thorough investigation into the appointment of German lawyer Martin Selmayr as Secretary General of the European Commission, which basically puts him in charge of 33 thousand EU officials. This follows a debate on the matter insisted on by, among others, Dutch European Parliamentarians, AD reports.

The parliamentary inquiry comes on top of an ongoing investigation by the European Ombudsman. The European Parliament will make a statement on the appointment next month, and it may even lead to a vote of no confidence.

Many parliamentarians were very critical on the shadowy and quick way in which the Commission appointed Selmayr, the former head of Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's cabinet , to this high position, some calling it a state capture. They denounced Juncker's absence in the debate, he had an appointment elsewhere in Strasbourg. And they found Vice President Gunther Oettinger's attempts to defend the appointment unconvincing. "You have to be deaf, dumb and blind to believe that man", Danish MEP Anders Primdahl Vistisen said. 

The Dutch members of European Parliament weren't any kinder in their criticism. "Crushingly simplistic", is what CU parliamentarian Peter van Dalen had to say about Oettinger's explanation. SP MEP Dennis de Jong added: "You must stop treating us as little children. I recognize your arrogance from te end of '99. Then the Commission collapsed." PvdA Euro parliamentarian Agnes Jongerius said: "There are days when I feel ashamed to be a member of Parliament, and this is such a day."

On behalf of the liberal group, D66 parliamentarian Sophie in 't Veld focused her accusations on the rest of the college. According to her, they just signed at the cross. "28 mighty politicians who let themselves by led by the nose by one colleague. How can we believe that you can stand up against Trump, or against Member States that don't keep to the rules? Selmayrgate undermines confidence in Europe in a disastrous manner, and so his appointment must be undone." 

PVV parliamentarian Olaf Stuger defended Selmayr's appointment and said that he was 'shocked' by the lack of confidence in Juncker. "This man is an example for many world leaders. I propose that we cancel the European elections next year and have the European Parliament appointed by Juncker."

 

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