BRUSSELS – The president of the European Commission announced on Wednesday changes to his close team due to the retirement of his secretary-general.
Jean-Claude Juncker announced in Brussels that Martin Selmayr, who was the current head of cabinet, would be filling the secretary-general role after Alexander Italianer announced his retirement on the same day.
“This morning, Alexander Italianer confirmed to me his wish to retire as secretary-general of the Commission as of 1 March,” Juncker said.
“I want to express my deep gratitude to him for decades of loyal service to the European Commission and over the past three years to me as its president.”
Clara Martinez Alberola will succeed Selmayr as the new head of cabinet, becoming the first woman and first Spanish national to occupy that role, the Commission pointed out in a statement.
She served under former president of the Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, for two mandates and has been part of the Commission for 27 years.
Juncker said he needed “the best team in place” because the “next 20 months will be decisive in fully delivering on a Europe that protects, empowers and defends.”
“This is why I want Martin Selmayr as the new secretary-general to steer the talented and hard-working administration of our institution, and Clara Martinez Alberola to lead my personal team,” he added.