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Carthy calls on EU Commission Secretary General to step down

18 April, 2018 - by Matt Carthy MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy, has called on the Secretary General of the European Commission, Martin Selmayr, to immediately step down from his post pending a full review of the appointment procedures. 

Speaking following a European Parliament vote on the matter in Strasbourg on Wednesday, Carthy said:

“The European Commission has serious questions to answer when it comes to the integrity of its appointment procedures.  The recent appointment Martin Selmayr to the top EU civil service post without an open process stinks of political favouritism.

“Throughout his career at the Commission, Martin Selmayr has been fast-tracked through a number of positions and pay-grades.  He has also dipped in and out of political positions, at one stage acting as campaign manager for Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. 

“His elevation to the current position, and the procedures used to get him there, were completely unethical and it is astounding that Mr Juncker refuses to acknowledge this. 

“It has been revealed that Mr Juncker and Mr Selmayr knew the date of the position of Secretary General being vacated two years in advance.  This was information that nobody else had.  Mr Selmayr was appointed to this position during the same meeting as his predecessor announced his retirement.  None of the Commissioners who had to vote on this appointment were informed in advance of this position being vacated and filled in the same day, and nobody else was given a chance to put their name forward for the pose. 

“Mr Juncker has played this process very close to the line. Frankly it is shameful that not a single Commissioner, including Irish Commissioner Phil Hogan, has chosen to publicly disassociate themselves with this farce. 

“Appointments to senior positions should be subject to regular and transparency appointment procedures with no exceptions.  

“It’s only a couple of months since it emerged that former Commission President José Manuel Barroso is engaging in lobbying activities on behalf of Goldman Sachs against a commitment not to do so.  This latest charade shows that Mr Juncker has little ambition to clean up the tarnished image left behind by that mess. 

“As an unelected body, the European Commission should be attempting to hold itself to the highest possible standards of transparency.  If Mr Juncker is not prepared to do that then perhaps he too needs to reconsider his position”.

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