Selmayr’s departure: Just in time for von der Leyen’s election?

File photo. EU commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Secretary-General of the Commission, German, Martin Selmayr (L) attending the weekly college meeting of the European commission in Brussels, Belgium, 5 September 2018. [Olivier Hoslet/EPA/EFE]

European Commission Secretary-General Martin Selmayr, whose sudden promotion angered MEPs last year and earned a rebuke from the European Ombudsman, will step down from his post next week, a spokeswoman for the EU executive said on Tuesday (16 July).

Juncker’s former chief of staff was promoted in a coup-like stunt to the post of Commission secretary-general in February 2018, seizing a position considered to be one of the most influential in Brussels.

MEPs cried foul but did not succeed in ousting him. This is why they passed a resolution last March, calling, among other things, on the next Commission to review the decision.

MEPs ask next Commission chief to oust Selmayr

After European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ignored their previous calls, MEPs called on Tuesday (26 March) on the next Commission to review the controversial appointment of Martin Selmayr as secretary-general of the EU executive.

As EURACTIV recently wrote, the departure of Selmayr would indeed improve relations between the Commission and the European Parliament.

But more importantly, the decision taken before the vote boosts the likelihood that Commission president nominee Ursula von der Leyen will be confirmed by Parliament. The vote is due later on Tuesday.

The Brief, powered by EURIMA – The Juncker Commission leftover

Leftovers are, by their very nature, often overlooked and forgotten. Let’s not forget this one. The outgoing European Parliament passed last March a resolution calling, among other things, on the next Commission to review the controversial appointment of Martin Selmayr as secretary-general of the EU executive.

As Aline Robert, chief editor of EURACTIV France, wrote on her blog, it was by confirming on Monday to members of the EPP group that Selmayr has to leave as soon as possible, that von der Leyen scored a point.

“By urgently getting rid of Selmayr, von der Leyen will have tried the utmost for securing her election. On the French side, the expectation is that Selmayr should leave Brussels by the end of the week,” Robert wrote.

In the European Parliament, the German Secretary General Klaus Welle, is expected to retain his post.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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