Juncker and MEPs face off in cronyism row over choice of Europe’s top civil servant


The highly questionable circumstances of the appointment of German conservative Martin Selmayr as secretary-general of the European Commission, a move initiated by commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for whom Selmayr until then served as chief of staff, has been met with outrage within the European Parliament, which on Wednesday adopted a motion describing the promotion as “coup-like” and “which possibly even overstretched the limits of the law”. But it pulled back from demanding Selmayr’s resignation, thereby avoiding a serious institutional crisis. Meanwhile, the commission, accused of blatant cronyism, has refused to compromise and insists Europe’s new top civil servant will remain in the post. Mediapart Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports.    


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True to past form, the European Parliament was up in arms when the so-called “Selmayrgate” scandal broke in February, before a majority finally chose to step back from the brink in order to save the European Union’s institutions from a political crisis that threatened to further weaken the Brussels edifice.