The European commission has been thrown into chaos after the appointment of a close aid to Claude Juncker.
Martin Selmayr, dubbed a ‘monster’ by his new boss, has been elevated to the head of the EU’s civil service.
Selmayr will become the most important bureaucrat in Brussels, pocketing 20,000 Euros a month, despite having very little experience within the EU’s top tier.
Nigel Farage – “Martin Selmayr is now the most powerful bureaucrat in the world, and all of it done without an open procedure. It is the perfect stitch-up. It smacks of nepotism.” #Brexit pic.twitter.com/5ivUwMUsNX
— thebrexiteer 🇬🇧 (@BrexiteerGB) March 12, 2018
The inexplicable rise, coupled with his close friendship with Juncker has led to an investigation into the process.
The German-born 47-year-old had been appointed deputy secretary general at a meeting in February, just minutes before Juncker informed the 28 commissioners that the current secretary general, Alexander Italianer, from the Netherlands, was quitting. Juncker then told the commissioners that he would like Selmayr, a member of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union, to take Italianer’s place.
The college of commissioners, which had no previous discussion of the issue, was asked to make an immediate decision, and a press conference was organised shortly afterwards.
‘This looks like a very cosy boys club’
The Dutch MEP Sophie in ’t Veld, speaking for the liberal group in the chamber led by Guy Verhoftstadt, said her party could not support the Juncker commission if Selmayr stayed in post. She said the commission’s defence of the appointment had made the matter worse and he had treated MEPs as stupid.
She said: “I am left speechless at the scene of 28 top politicians, selected for the political leadership of this continent, led by the nose by a civil servant. The commission will have to choose what is more important: the credibility of the commission or the career of Mr Selmayr. The two are irreconcilable.”
Quite a speech. The Martin Selmayr scandal hit the European Parliament today – one MEP says this is not about him, but about the deformation of the EU and 28 elected European leaders being “led by the nose by a civil servant”. https://t.co/dn0DfVHJ0L
— Fraser Nelson (@FraserNelson) March 12, 2018