Selmayr promotion points to cronyism in the Commission, must be thoroughly investigated
Martin Selmayr’s appointment as Secretary-General of the Commission must be officially investigated according to Dennis De Jong, MEP and co-President of the European Parliament intergroup on Integrity, Transparency, Corruption and Organised crime (ITCO).
Selmayr, who until recently served as head of cabinet to Commission President Juncker, applied for the role of Deputy Secretary-General but instead was bumped up after the surprise retirement of the previous post holder.
De Jong will call on MEPs to back proposals to table and vote on a resolution on the issue today at the opening of the plenary session in Strasbourg, and criticised the appointment ahead of the debate on the topic:
"Juncker’s Commission increasingly looks like an arrogant 'old boys network'. Both the rushed appointment of Martin Selmayr and the ‘friendly drinks’ Commissioner Katainen had with former Commission President Barroso, who now works for Goldman Sachs, show a lack of integrity and contempt for European citizens.”
Just days ago the Commission came under fire after it was revealed that Barroso tried to lobby current European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen on behalf of Goldman Sachs. Barroso was subjected to an ethics probe in 2016 that put pressure on the Commission to revise its Code of Conduct for Commissioners and extend the controversial “cooling-off” periods before Commissioners can take on a new job to two-years.
“I request a full European Parliament investigation on the appointment of Martin Selmayr. His promotion must be suspended until we have full clarity following an investigation,” De Jong added.
The Dutch MEP concluded with a warning: “This whole situation reminds me of the 1999 mass resignation of the Santer Commission because of integrity scandals. Unless the Commission immediately changes its arrogant attitude and gives the European Parliament all the necessary information, it may well suffer a similar fate.”