Incoming EU Envoy Refuses Post After Criticism at Appointment

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday that her nominee for the EU’s new business envoy had chosen not to assume the position, following criticism linking the appointment to cronyism.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, has reaffirmed that it adhered to all regulations in selecting Markus Pieper, a lawmaker from von der Leyen’s German centre-right party, as a special envoy for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“The President both respects and regrets Markus Pieper’s decision not to take up his post as SME Envoy on 16 April as planned.

European Union President von der Leyen (Credits: Yves Herman)

Markus Pieper is a proven expert on SMEs and has prevailed in a multi-stage selection process,” von der Leyen’s spokesperson stated on Monday evening.

Opponents of von der Leyen from other parties have highlighted media reports suggesting that the Commission rejected two other candidates who had outperformed Pieper in the initial selection process for the special envoy role.

Last week, the European Parliament passed a resolution urging the Commission to revoke Pieper’s appointment.

European Union Flag.

Pieper informed the Handelsblatt newspaper on Monday that his appointment had also been hindered by opposition from France’s EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, who oversees EU industry policy.

“I currently see no possibility of fulfilling the legitimate expectations associated with the office”.

Pieper was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

European Union and China.

Pieper’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday evening.

Von der Leyen’s spokesperson stated that the EU Commission head had decided to delay the reopening of the selection procedure for the role until after the European Parliament election in June, at which point a new European Parliament and Commission will be established.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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