The Parliament has voted on a Resolution regarding the appointment of the Secretary-General of the Commission. Since the appointment, the European Parliament has made many statements and many questions have been asked. The Commission has cooperated fully and has extensively and comprehensively answered all questions from the Committee on Budget Control both in the hearing and on paper.
Today, we have come to the moment in time where we need to take a look at all this dispassionately, objectively and with a clear mind. When appointing its new Secretary-General, the Commission has followed all the rules both in spirit and to the letter, as laid down in the Staff Regulations that apply to all institutions. The Commission did not deviate from its internal legal framework and Rules of Procedure, nor did it go against the existing practice followed over many years. The previous three Secretaries-General were appointed on the basis of precisely the same procedure. Equally, the suitability and credentials of the official appointed to the post of Secretary General are beyond any doubt. Based on the proposal from the President, the College of Commissioners took this decision unanimously on 21st February.
The Commission welcomes that the Resolution recognises that – under the Treaties – all EU Institutions are autonomous in matters related to their organisation and personnel policy. Moreover, the Resolution rightly states that the Commission decision to appoint its new Secretary-General cannot be revoked and we will not do so, as we respect the Staff Regulations.
The Commission is open to constructive discussion. This is why we stand ready to reassess, together with Parliament and the other Institutions, how the application of the current rules and procedures can be improved in the future. To that effect, I have launched a proposal to organise an inter-institutional round table as soon as possible. These discussions should allow us to guarantee the excellence and independence of the EU civil service, working for the benefit and in the common interest of our citizens.
Senior management appointments should under no circumstances become the subject of negotiations between Member States and political parties. All EU Institutions have a shared responsibility to ensure this.