The European Parliament has called on the Commission to boost the transparency and public accountability of its recruitment processes in the aftermath of the stealth promotion of Martin Selmayr as secretary-general of the EU´s executive body.
The resolution voted today highlights the erosion of public trust in EU institutions resulting from politicised appointments and calls on the Commission to announce the posts publicly in the future to allow for a wide range of applications.
Parliament approved a GUE/NGL amendment that demands an apology from the Commission for the way it has handled ´Selmayrgate´. The group´s proposal to withhold budget from the Commission pending the implementation of needed reform fell.
Immediately after the vote the Commission issued a press release expressing its intention to ignore the will of the Parliament.
Dennis De Jong (Socialist Party, Netherlands), MEP and co-President of the European Parliament intergroup on Integrity, Transparency, Corruption and Organised crime (ITCO), said that the Commission´s attitude demonstrates contempt:
“It is unfortunate that the Parliament gave up the most important leverage it had, to delay the discharge of the Commission´s budget. Wrongly, it turns out. The Juncker Commission shows its arrogance when it says that it has followed the rules and by insisting that Selmayr stays, at least for the time being.”
“The Parliament has adopted my proposal demanding that the Commission acknowledge the damage it has caused to its image with the mistakes in procedure and the way it communicated on the whole affair. But this seems to have made no difference. Juncker should stop talking about ´European democracy´ if he cannot practice what he preaches.”
“The resolution urged for the re-evaluation of Selmayr´s appointment even if it failed to call for him to reconsider his post.”
De Jong lamented that the Parliament did not address its own issues with transparency and fairness:
“´Selmayrgate´ brought to light other instances of cronyism or lack of transparency in EU institutions when it comes to fair recruitment practices for civil servant posts. Tajani has opened vacancies for 9 director-level positions, a so-called package deal, which could be perceived as political appointments. The staff committee has demanded that these appointments be open to no avail.”
“Fortunately, there is broad agreement that the rules for political appointments in EU institutions must be adapted. I will therefore continue the fight,” De Jong concluded.