Martin Selmayr, the current head of cabinet of the President of the European Commission, will be the secretary-general of the Brussels body from March, said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday.
At a press conference following the weekly meeting of the European Commission, Mr Juncker reported that General Secretary Alexander Italianer would retire on March 1, and Martin Selmayr was appointed by the Commissioner’s College instead. Juncker thought that Selmayr would be a great secretary of general, with all his ability to perform post-exemplary.
As a result of the decision, Selmayr, who has been described as “bulldozer” by some, will remain key in the committee, irrespective of the outcome of EU clearance for next year.
According to press reports, the German lawyer, who has been admired and feared at many times in Brussels by Juncker, is the most influential chief cabinet in the history of the organization.
Heads of Cabinet direct the Commissioners’ personal offices and have a key role in preparing their decisions. At their regular meetings, the materials are finally made available to the commissioners. Among them, the Chief of Cabinet of the current President stands out, but many say that Selmayr stands out as a gray eminent from the line of presidential cabinet chiefs. The German finance minister once again publicly said that Selmayr hurt himself in things that go beyond his cabinet’s duties and powers.
The secretary-general of the committee, on the other hand, is the highest bureaucrat of the body, who serves the organization as a whole by the management of the apparatus. Its task is to ensure the smooth, smooth work of the Committee and the relevant Directorates-General.
The Commissioners only took the matter at the last minute. According to EU sources, in order to prevent leaks, and in this way they wanted to prevent certain commissioners from being able to object to the appointment.
According to Politico, many people are concerned about the appointment of Selmayr, not merely for federalist beliefs, but because they consider it “unreliable and fearful” and will therefore be sitting at a negotiating table during a transitional period following the United Union’s planned exit from the EU when the future relationship will be discussed. According to British authorities requesting anonymity, however, the positive side of the appointment is that Selmayr “can at least manage things and know how to steer the European Grand Slam ship, which can not be said of its boss”, said the Brussels news portal.
The new cabinet chief Selmayr’s current deputy, Spanish Clara Martínez Alberola, will be the first woman to fill the position.
On Wednesday, five new Directors-General and five Deputy Directors-General were appointed. In his statement, the committee pointed out that six women and four men were appointed.
The proportion of female directors and deputy directors increased by 36 percent, which is a significant step forward compared to 11 percent in November 2014. Juncker assumed at the beginning of his mandate that this ratio would reach 40 percent by October 31, 2019.
EU Commissioner for Human Resources Günther Oettinger said that the professional background and competences of the stakeholders and the gender balance were also taken into account.