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    Nigel Farage, United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) member and MEP, addresses the European Parliament during a debate on Brexit priorities and the upcomming talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU, in Strasbourg, France, April 5, 2017.

    Nigel Farage Slams EU Commission for Lack of Transparency in Selmayr's Promotion

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    Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and a member of the European Parliament, slammed on Monday the European Commission for the lack of transparency in the appointment of Martin Selmayr as the commission's secretary-general, calling it a "palace coup."

    "Selmayr's appointment is like a palace coup under cover of bureaucratic darkness. I think he is a dangerous man, unaccountable, overpaid and out of control. The lack of transparency and chicanery involved in his double elevation brings shame on the EU," Farage told Sputnik.

    Earlier in the day, the members of the European Parliament discussed during its plenary session the promotion of Selmayr, who used to serve as chief of staff to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. In late February, then-EU Commission's Secretary-General Alexander Italianer resigned, after which reports emerged that Selmayr had previously applied for the post of deputy secretary-general. As a result of Italianer's resignation, Selmayr was then immediately promoted to secretary-general.

    On February 21, Selmayr was promoted to the post of the commission's secretary-general, after the only other candidate for the role of deputy withdrew his candidacy. Selmayr's nomination was approved by the commission's college, which was asked for a snap decision by Juncker. The move triggered harsh criticism from European lawmakers, who condemned the appointment as non-transparent and showing disrespect to EU institutional norms. A number of lawmakers demanded that the European Commission provide an explanation for Selmayr's quick promotion and called for increased transparency in the recruitment process as a whole.

    On March 1, the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament asked the EU Commission to clarify the situation with the speedy recruitment of a new secretary-general, pointing to the fact that former secretary-generals remained in office for some time following the announcement of their resignation. With this regard, the group asked the European Commission whether the procedure of Selmayr's appointment was sufficiently transparent and fair and whether the commission had enough time to give consideration to other candidates.


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    criticism, promotion, European Commission, Martin Selmayr, Jean-Claude Juncker, Nigel Farage, EU
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