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Selmayr: Green five point plan

The way how Martin Selmayr was appointed puts the European institutions into disrespect. If this procedure was corresponding to the rules, the rules have to be changed. Not only in the Commission also in the Parliament open tenders should be used without exemptions. All positions should go to the best qualified not to the best connected. Until the investigation of the Selmayr’s promotion is not completed, we demand to postpone the discharge of Commission’s budget.

On the demand of the Greens/EFA group the plenary of the European Parliament will discuss the Martin Selmayr’s appointment on Monday at about 5 pm. The debate can be viewed live here:



Green demands in view of the Selmayr case

by Sven Giegold (Spokesperson of the German Greens in the European Parliament)

and Bart Staes (Green coordinator in CONT)


On 21 February, the college of Commissioners appointed Mr Martin Selmayr as deputy secretary general. To the surprise of the vast majority of the college, Alexander Italianer resigned. Within minutes, secondly, the college appointed Selmayr as Secretary General to fill the sudden vacancy. The press spokespersons of Commission do not refute that Jean-Claude Juncker know Alexander Italiener’s intention to resign 2,5 years in advance, Selmayr at least since Christmas, and Günter Oettinger at least since the day before. The other 26 Commissioners were not aware of the intentions in advance. In the case of Mr Selmayr’s second appointment to Secretary General, the urgency, therefore, was deliberately created by the Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.


The Greens defend the European Democracy and integrity of our EU institutions. EU Commission and European Parliament are already more transparent and have better integrity rules than many national institutions of Member States. And so far, the procedure to appoint Mr Selmayr was not found to violate any rules, as many rules exempt the highest ranks from using usual procedures. The highly unusual procedure in this case threatens to negatively effect the integrity of procedures in EU institutions. If such threat is possible within the rules, we have to change our rules. Staff regulations for EU officials, decided by Parliament and Council on the proposal of Commission, have to follow the principles of EU treaties. The principles of transparency, of equal access to positions and the collective responsibility of the college of Commissioners should be fully realised by staff regulations. Lessons learned from the Selmayr case should inform a necessary update. The position of Secretary General is of particular importance. The secretariat general draws up the Commission’s work programme, coordinates the reviews of impact assessments for proposed legislation, looks after the Commission’s transparency register and it polices the code of conduct for commissioners. Therefore, a Secretary General’s reputation should always be beyond any doubt.


We ask for a five point plan:

  1. The appointment of Martin Selmayr, both as deputy secretary general and secretary general of Commission needs full scrutiny by the European Parliament by those competent, especially the Budget Control Committee (CONT) to verify if present rules were correctly applied.
  2. Open tenders for positions should become the norm in all levels of EU institutions, exceptions for highest ranks have to be deleted from the rules, i.e. Article 29(2) regulation 31 (EEC), 11 (EAEC) laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials. Selection and appointment of Directors-General or their equivalent in grade AD 16 or AD 15 and Directors or their equivalent in grade AD 15 or AD 14 should follow the same procedures as all other EU officials. Before starting this long process, Commission should already decide not to use these exceptions any more. Commissions budget plan of 2018 includes 24 posts AD 16, 190 posts AD 15 plus 22 temporary posts and 637 posts AD 14 plus 31 temporary posts.
  3. Decisions on staff by the college of Commissioners should be known by all Commissioners at least one week in advance.
  4. Proper and transparent selection procedures should also apply in the European Parliament, Council and all EU institutions and bodies. Equally, those instutions should commit as soon as possible not to use exceptions of Article 29(2) regulation 31 anymore.
  5. Until the case is resolved, the discharge of Commission’s budget should be postponed from the Plenary in April to a later date (probably October) that allows for scrutiny of all documents that allow Parliament to fully understand.



relevant legal sources

regulation 31 (EEC), 11 (EAEC) laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials



Article 4

No appointment or promotion shall be made for any purpose other than that of filling a vacant post as provided in these Staff Regulations.

Vacant posts in an institution shall be notified to the staff of that institution once the appointing authority decides that the vacancy is to be filled.

If the vacancy cannot be filled by transfer, appointment to a post in accordance with Article 45a or promotion, it shall be notified to the staff of the other institutions, and/or an internal competition shall be organised.


Article 29

  1.  Before filling a vacant post in an institution, the appointing authority shall first consider:

(a) whether the post can be filled by:

(i) transfer, or

(ii) appointment in accordance with Article 45a, or

(iii) promotion

within the institution;

(b) whether requests for transfer have been received from officials of the same grade in other institutions, and/or

(c) if it was not possible to fill the vacant post through the possibilities mentioned in points (a) and (b), whether to consider lists of suitable candidates within the meaning of Article 30, where appropriate, taking into account the relevant provisions concerning suitable candidates in Annex III and/or

(d) whether to hold a competition internal to the institution, which shall be open only to officials and temporary staff as defined in Article 2 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union;

or follow the procedure for competitions on the basis either of qualifications or of tests, or of both qualifications and tests. Annex III lays down the competition procedure.

The procedure may likewise be followed for the purpose of constituting a reserve for future recruitment.

While maintaining the principle that the vast majority of officials are to be recruited on the basis of open competitions, the appointing authority may decide, by way of derogation from point (d) and only in exceptional cases, to hold a competition internal to the institution which shall also be open to contract staff as defined in Articles 3a and 3b of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union. That latter category of staff shall be subject to restrictions with regard to that possibility as laid down in Article 82(7) of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union and with regard to the specific tasks it was entitled to perform as contract staff.

  1.  A procedure other than the competition procedure may be adopted by the Appointing Authority for the recruitment of senior officials (Directors-General or their equivalent in grade AD 16 or AD 15 and Directors or their equivalent in grade AD 15 or AD 14) and, in exceptional cases, also for recruitment to posts which require special qualifications.


present staff numbers

According to the Commission budget 2018 there are:

  • 24 civil servant posts AD 16,
  • 190 civil servant posts AD 15 plus 22 temporary posts,
  • 637 civil servant posts AD 14 plus 31 temporary posts.


Not counting the possible scheduled and unscheduled promotions during the year.

In addition, there are other high level posts in the agencies and other bodies outside the European Commission itself.

AD 16 concerns Directors-General, Secretaries-General and their predecessors. If they have not yet retired, but continue to work as special advisors or heads of an EU delegation (quasi ambassadors), for example, they take their rank with them.

AD 15 could be Deputy Secretaries-General, Deputy Directors-General, Directors, and probably also Heads of Commissioners‘ Cabinet.

Directors are the hierarchy level below the general directors and correspond to a head of department (in DE “Abteilungsleiter” or “Haupt-Abteilungsleiter”) in a national ministry. A Directorate-General in the COM consists of 2-8 Directorates, which are led accordingly by Directors with, as a rule, grade AD 14, who can then be promoted up to AD 15.

The three levels AD 16,15 and 14 are particularly emphasized, since ordinary EU officials cannot achieve them through length of service, age or normal promotion. Normal promotion used to end with AD 13 and nowadays with AD 12, but higher promotion is only possible if you have a management function, i. e. Head of unit (maximum up to AD 14), Director (up to AD 15), Director General or Secretary General (up to AD 16).


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