Written Answer to a Question: Appointment of Mr Selmayr as Secretary-General of the Commission, and the procedure for it

Question for written answer to the Commission (Rule 130) by  Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE), Matthijs van Miltenburg (ALDE), Sophia in ‘t Veld (ALDE) and Marietje Schaake (ALDE) regarding “Appointment of Mr Selmayr as Secretary-General of the Commission, and the procedure for it”.

Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the European Commission
The Commission has provided comprehensive information on this matter in its replies to the questions of the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament of 24 March(1) and 4 April 2018(2). These replies are publicly available.

1. The Staff Regulations provide for two ways to appoint Directors-General or Deputy Directors-General: (a) appointment by the College following publication of the post and selection procedure under Article 29 of the Staff Regulations or (b) transfer in the interest of the service pursuant to Article 7 of the Staff Regulations.

In accordance with the Staff Regulations, the article 7 procedure was used for the appointment of the new Secretary-General of the Commission. The College took the decision unanimously on a proposal from the President, in agreement with the Commissioner responsible for Budget and Human Resources and after consultation of the First Vice-President. The Commission respected all rules to the letter and in their spirit.

2. When it became clear that the previous Secretary-General did not want to continue exercising the function of Secretary-General and he communicated to the President his intention to submit his retirement letter, the Commission acted without delay, taking account of the important internal and external challenges the EU was facing at this particular moment in time and the special characteristics of the position of Secretary-General of the Commission (see Article 20 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure). The Commission did follow one of the two legal procedures that are provided for, as equal alternatives, by the Staff Regulations.

The involvement of the Members of the Commission, in procedures for appointment of senior managers, depends on their portfolios. The Members of the Commission concerned are consulted on decisions on senior management in their respective area of responsibility before they are submitted to the Commission for decision.

3. This is not true and it is based on an incorrect premise. Allowances for Commissioners fall under Council Regulation (EU) 2016/300 of 29 February 2016 determining the emoluments of EU high-level public office holders. The regulation is based on Articles 243 and 286(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Neither Article provides for a right of initiative for the Commission. The Commission thus has no legal possibility to change the allowances of Commissioners.

Question for written answer P-001458/2018
to the Commission
Rule 130
Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE), Matthijs van Miltenburg (ALDE), Sophia in ‘t Veld (ALDE) and Marietje Schaake (ALDE)

Subject: Appointment of Mr Selmayr as Secretary-General of the Commission, and the procedure for it

On 25 February, the French news website Libération reported that, in the procedure to appoint Martin Selmayr as Secretary-General of the Commission, internal rules had been circumvented or even breached. A week earlier, he had been appointed Deputy Secretary-General, and almost immediately after that he was appointed Secretary-General to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the previous Secretary-General, Alexander Italianer.
Can the Commission explain what the appointment procedure for a new Secretary-General is and indicate whether this procedure was followed, and if not, why it did not ensure compliance with the internal rules, and what procedure was in fact adopted in Mr Selmayr’s case?
The President of the Commission has long been aware that Mr Italianer was planning to take early retirement. That being so, why was the normal, diligent and open procedure not adhered to in the appointment of the new Secretary-General, and why were not all the Commissioners notified in advance?
Is it true that Mr Selmayr gave pledges to Commissioners in order to secure his appointment, and does the Commission consider the precipitate appointment of Mr Selmayr to be a model of the due diligence, openness and independence that can be expected when appointing the Commission’s most senior official? If so, does the Commission appreciate that this appointment suggests favouritism, lack of transparency and negligence?

View the question and the answer on the EP website

Source: European Parliament

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