The Budgetary Control Committee (CONT) in the European Parliament today held a 2.5 hour hearing with Commissioner Oettinger on the appointment of Martin Selmayr as Secretary- General of the European Commission. The Greens/EFA Group had requested that President Juncker be invited, but this was rejected by the EPP, S&D and ALDE. The European Parliament will now send a new questionnaire to the EU Commission and is working on a resolution.
Sven Giegold, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on “Transparency, integrity and accountability of the EU institutions” comments on today’s hearing:
“Oettinger turns a blind eye to the loss of reputation that Europe suffers as a result of such non-transparent personnel decisions. Oettinger has admitted that they used an exception rule in order to avoid a public tender although there was enough time for an open and transparent procedure. The EU Commission completely refuses to draw sensitive conclusions from the criticism on the cloak-and-dagger operation of Selmayrs promotion. The invitation to a round table does not replace a proposal of one’s own. The EU Commission does not give an inch instead and shows no sign of understanding. Oettinger’s discernment is early campaign support for EU sceptics for the 2019 European election campaign, and the EU Commission should understand that transparency is a prerequisite for public confidence. If Selmayr’s carriage complies with the rules, the rules must be changed. Top posts in all EU institutions should generally be advertised publicly. Personnel selection must be made according to the best qualifications, not the best relationships.”