European Parliament President Martin Schulz (Germany) appointed his chief of staff and longtime aide, Markus Winkler (Germany), as deputy secretary general of the institution. That post, the number-two staff job in the legislature’s administration, is currently held by Italian Francesca Ratti, who is retiring. (Politico Europe, Corriere della Sera)
Along with President Martin Schulz (Germany), and Secretary General Klaus Welle (Germany), Markus Winkler is the third German in the top level position in the European Parliament.
Also the German Liberal MEP Alexander Graf Lambsdorf (ALDE) criticised such decision saying that “such concentration of Germans in top level position is not good for an International Institution.” (Der Spiegel)
Socialists and EPP agreed on sharing European Parliament presidency’s term: first term to Socialists (Martin Schulz) and second term to EPP (Italian Vice President of the Parliament Antonio Tajani is in pole position); but rumors are saying that the German President Schulz has no intention to give up his position. (Corriere della Sera)
It is not a secret that also in other EU Institutions, Germans are in key positions. Martin Selmayr, chief of staff of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, could be considerated more powerfull than many Commissioners.
At the beginning of 2016, the only Italian member of the cabinet of the European Commission President Juncker left on January 2nd in an open contrast with the Head of Cabinet Martin Selmayr. Carlo Zanda has been the member of the cabinet in charge of immigration, justice and internal affairs but Selmayr gave instead to a British officer the “strategic coordinator “role on these competences. The Italian Minister for European Affairs Sandro Gozi labeled this decision as not acceptable and claimed it as an issue of political opportunity.
We can find other Germans at top level positions in other EU institutions such as European External Action Service, European Council, Single Resolution Mechanism, European Stability Mechanism, and in the cabinet of Commissioners as heads of deputy heads of their office. (Corriere della Sera)
See infographic by Bruegel: