Is the Selmayr affair closed? That, at least, is how the Commission reads the resolution adopted by the European Parliament today.
The amount of work deployed by the Commission to save Martin Selmayr has been astonishing. The hours of Q&A with journalists, the sleepless nights writing exhaustive answers to questions by MEPs, the time spent by MEPs drafting resolutions and amendments: it has been an epic effort.
Apparently, Commissioner Avramopoulos even cancelled a long-planned trip to Iran just to attend a College meeting where, humiliatingly, all Commissioners had to pledge allegiance to Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief bag-carrier.
Everybody knows that the EU Commission is normally a slow moving animal. But not this time.
If the Commission had put the same amount of effort into other difficult dossiers, it would have probably solved them. For the time and effort spent on protecting Selmayr, the EU executive could have fixed all its issues with Gazprom, Google, Microsoft, Starbucks, Apple and you name it, and opened infringements against all the others we dare not name.
It might have also opened accession negotiations with Albania and closed talks with Montenegro. It could have concluded free trade agreements with Japan and Mercosur, ended the rule of law dispute with Poland and opened another one with Hungary. But no, the Commission was too busy Saving Private Ryan, by presidential order, like in the Spielberg movie in which too many people died.
The Commission assumes that the only good thing about the Selmayr case so far is that it has only been of interest to EU buffs, while people outside the Brussels bubble go on with their lives. Wrong.
Our take is that the Selmayr case is far from over, and the smell it leaves will forever taint the Juncker commission.
In the absence of a spectacular turn of events or journalistic scoops, the scandal will stay on the back burner. In the end, it will provide ammunition ahead of the European election campaigns, not only to Eurosceptics, but to all who stand for democracy and oppose the diktats of the EPP and their armour-bearer, the socialists.
Because Selmayr’s ascent is also a symbol of this unholy alliance.
By Alexandra Brzozowski
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