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European Commission - Statement

Statement by Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger on the Decision by the European Ombudsman of 11 February 2019 on the European Commission's appointment of a new Secretary-General

Brussels, 12 February 2019

The European Commission takes note of the Decision by the European Ombudsman of 11 February 2019 on the European Commission's appointment of a new Secretary-General.

As we have explained in detail earlier – most recently in our opinion of 3 December 2018 on the Ombudsman's initial findings and recommendations – we continue to disagree with a number of those findings. Likewise, we have a different reading of the applicable rules.

The College took the unanimous decision to appoint the new Secretary-General in full compliance with all applicable rules, as interpreted by the case law of the European Union Courts. The person currently occupying this post fully meets all the demanding requirements for the job.

The European Commission regrets that the Ombudsman seems to disregard the additional clarifications provided.

When it comes to the Recommendation that the appointment of the Secretary-General should be carried out independently from the appointment of any other Director-General, I convened a round table with the other EU Institutions on 25 September 2018. The constructive discussions comforted the European Commission in its view that the way in which the Institutions implement the rules is both adequate and fit for purpose. The EU Staff Regulations, supplemented by established case law, provide a solid framework within which each Institution has the autonomy to organise its departments and assign its staff so as to guarantee the excellence and independence of the EU civil service, working for the benefit and in the common interest of our citizens.

STATEMENT/19/1055

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