Thursday 09 December 2021

Dutch MEPs lead onslaught against EU secretary-general appointment

Dutch MEPs will on Monday join the onslaught on the appointment of Martin Selmayr as a top European official without any consultation, The Times reported at the weekend.

The paper said D66 MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld will call on the European Commission to reverse its decision to appoint the controversial Selmayr to the top job and has also asked the EU ombudsman to investigate.

The decision of the 28 commissioners to approve the appointment without discussion or other applications is ‘stupid and immoral’, she said.

‘These people are supposed to be the very best. They run the most powerful institution on the continent and yet they behave like sheep when something like this is put before them,’ the Times quoted her as saying.

‘If you are so out of touch that you think you can get away with it… what planet are you living on?’

Broadcastere NOS said last week almost all Dutch MEPs think Selmayr should withdraw because he has not been named in line with EU rules.

‘If this happened in Burkino Faso, that country would no longer receive any support and we would say this is not how you should govern a country,’ Hans van Baalen, a VVD MEP, told broadcaster NOS.

Selmayr, who is controversial for his domineering style, was promoted to secretary general of the commission at lightning speed, and decision announced by Jean-Claude Juncker at a press conference earlier this month.

French newspaper Liberation then said the appointment was tied to improved perks for commissioners after they leave office.

Last week, Dutch MPs also asked prime minister Mark Rutte about the case, but did not get majority support in parliament to press for a debate.

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