Political Controversy Surrounding EU Chief Economist's Appointment
The appointment of an American as one of the EU's chief economists is withdrawn due to political controversy. French President Macron criticizes the decision.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The appointment of an American candidate as one of the European Union's chief economists has been withdrawn due to political controversy. French President Emmanuel Macron, among others, criticized the decision, leading to the withdrawal.
Yale economics professor Fiona Scott Morton, in a letter to the EU's executive Commission, announced her decision not to take up the position. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who advocated for the appointment, expressed regret and acknowledged Scott Morton's skillset in promoting strong competition enforcement.
Macron's criticism had a significant impact on the decision. During an EU summit, he questioned the need to hire an American for the role, emphasizing the lack of European researchers qualified for the job within the 27 member states.
The European Commission had previously announced Scott Morton's appointment as chief competition economist in its department responsible for ensuring fair competition within the single market to benefit consumers, businesses, and the European economy as a whole.
Macron clarified that his objection was not against Scott Morton personally but raised concerns about hiring a non-EU citizen for such a high-level position, which he believed went against EU statutes.