Recommendation on the European Commission’s appointment of a new Secretary-General

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details Case 488/2018/KR | 514/2018/KR
Publication Date 31/08/2018
Content Type


The European Ombudsman announced in September 2018 the conclusions of an investigation into two complaints, which showed four instances of maladministration in the appointment of Martin Selmayr as the European Commission's Secretary-General in February 2018.

Further information:

The maladministration arose due to the Commission not following the relevant rules correctly either in letter or in spirit. The Commission created an artificial sense of urgency to fill the post of Secretary-General in order to justify not publishing a vacancy notice. It also organised a Deputy Secretary-General selection procedure, not to fill that role, but rather to make Mr Selmayr Secretary-General in a rapid two-step appointment.

The Ombudsman calls on the Commission to develop a specific and separate appointment procedure for its Secretary-General to prevent a repeat of this happening.

The Ombudsman’s inquiry was based on two complaints, from two separate delegations of MEPs. The inquiry was opened in May 2018 following a Resolution of the European Parliament on the same matter.

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Related Link(s)
European Ombudsman: Press Release, 03.09.18: Commission should develop new procedure for appointing its Secretary-General!JP36uY
The Irish Times, 04.09.18: Emily O’Reilly criticises senior EU Commission appointment
BBC News, 04.09.18: Selmayr report: EU promotion of Juncker aide 'damaged trust'
Politico, 04.09.18: Commission slammed over Selmayr promotion
EUObserver, 04.09.18: Selmayr's stealth promotion was wrong, EU watchdog says
EurActiv, 15.05.18: EU Ombudsman opens probe into Selmayr’s promotion

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