The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, has defended Tuesday the transparency of the controversial process by which her hitherto chief of staff, Alessandro Chiocchetti, has been elected new secretary general of the European institution, in a vote in which he added the support of conservatives and liberals.
“It is the most open process in the history of the institution, the vacancy was published months ago and was open to anyone, there were checks on eligibility and for the first time there was more than one candidate,” Metsola has exposed at a press conference in Strasbourg (France), when asked about criticism of an accelerated process in which Chiocchetti himself participated after being promoted in the rank of civil servant.
The Maltese conservative has assured that it was her “duty” to ensure a “fair” process and has stressed that she did not participate in the vote of the Bureau of the European Parliament with which on Monday was formalized the election of Chiocchetti, who only received “one vote against and three abstentions” of the 14 cast.
Metsola’s ‘number two’ won with the support of the ‘popular’ representatives, conservatives, liberals and two socialists, over the candidacies of the director general of Communication and spokesman of the European Parliament, the Spanish Jaume Duch, and two other director generals, the Finnish Leena Linnus and the Polish Agnieszka Walter-Drop.
Thus, Chiocchetti, 53 years old and former advisor to Silvio Berlusconi and Antonio Tajani, will take over next January from Klaus Welle, the German Christian Democrat who will leave the post after more than a decade at the head of the officials of the European Parliament.