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06 March, 2018

At the court of the EU bubble kings

by Eric Maurice

Part 2 - 'Bending the rules'

By elevating Selmayr to the position of secretary general, Juncker rewarded him with a position that gives him the power to run the EU executive's work in the years to come and be an influence on the next commission president.

By making the move a political issue, Juncker acknowledged and strengthened the power of Selmayr - a eurocrat turned political gambler.

At the same time Juncker also - unwittingly - highlighted how far his team has gone in disconnecting itself from what the commission is supposed to represent: the general interest.

No one doubts that Selmayr has the intellectual capacities and the political flair to play an important role at the top of the EU.

So why did he, with Juncker's approval, decided to be crowned in a few minutes, in a meeting before which no EU commissioners but one knew what was coming, in a procedure that followed the rules but in such a secret and accelerated way that no one had a chance to apply for the job?

"Selmayr is good at bending the rules to his favour while sticking to the letter of the rules," noted a commission official who, like many colleagues, only found out about the move when the media reported it.

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