Responding to the appointment today of Martin Selmayr to the role of European Commission Secretary General, London’s MEP Syed Kamall said it represented a setback to anyone who still believed the European Union capable of change.
Dr Kamall, co-leader of the European Parliament’s third-biggest group the European Conservatives and Reformists, spoke out after it emerged that German lawyer Mr Selmayr had been chosen to become the EU’s next top civil servant at a closed meeting of the College of Commissioners.The appointment, said to have been a late addition to the meeting agenda, means that Jean-Claude Juncker’s current chief of staff will remain on the Commission executive after the 2019 European election and remain a dominant figure in Brussels regardless of who becomes the next Commission president.
Dr Kamall said: “How does the Commission expect Londoners or anyone else to believe that the EU is capable of change and listening to their wishes when the process for appointing to top positions is so opaque.
“The Commission should be looking at ways to make Brussels more transparent and democratic, yet this appointment resembles nothing more than jobs for the boys.
“Perhaps the most worrying thing is that the Commission doesn’t seem to even realise why this is a problem.”