State of progress of the selection procedure of a new Rector

Press release on the state of progress of the selection procedure of a new Rector of the College of Europe, 15 May 2020

As a result of the decision announced in 2017 of the intention of the current Rector of the College, Prof. Jörg MONAR, to leave the College on 31 August 2020, the College launched, in June 2019, the selection procedure for a new Rector, who would take up his/her responsibilities from 1 September 2020 onwards. The Statutes of the College provide for the Academic Council of the College to make a proposal for the appointment of a new Rector to the Administrative Council. In June 2019 the Academic Council set up a Selection Committee consisting of members of both the Academic and the Administrative Council, in order  to prepare such a proposal.

After the deadline of 30 September 2019 for applications for the position of Rector, the Selection Committee, chaired by President Herman VAN ROMPUY, first established a short-list of five candidates and then interviewed those candidates on 27 November 2019. While each of these candidates had his or her own qualities none of them could sufficiently convince a majority of the members of the Selection Committee. In its session of 6 December 2019 the Academic Council, of which President VAN ROMPUY is not a member, therefore considered it necessary to establish a Search Committee in order to enlarge the pool of candidates by identifying and contacting new candidates.

On 12 February 2020 the Selection Committee unanimously agreed to the proposal of the Search Committee of 30 January 2020, equally adopted by unanimity, to interview only one additional candidate: Mrs. Federica MOGHERINI, former High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission. The interview of Mrs. MOGHERINI took place on 30 April 2020 after a certain delay occasioned by her need to have her candidature cleared under the European Commission’s Code of Conduct procedure. The Selection Committee then came to the unanimous conclusion that Mrs. MOGHERINI offered the best combination of qualities of all six interviewed candidates in view of leading the College, and proposed her to the Academic Council for appointment.

The report of the Selection Committee was thoroughly deliberated by the Academic Council in its session of 14 May 2020 and led to the unanimous decision to propose her for appointment to the Administrative Council which will meet on 26 May 2020 to take the final decision.

The current Rector of the College, Prof. Jörg MONAR, wishes to add the following statement:

“Although not personally involved in the selection of my successor – I have been neither a member of the Selection nor of the Search Committee – it is part of my responsibilities as Rector to serve as the guardian of the College statutory procedures. In this capacity I would like to formally assert that the selection process has proceeded entirely in line with the Statutes of the College, that the lead role of the Academic Council in the process has been constantly respected, and that none of the members of the Selection Committee has indicated to me any attempt of her/him having been subject to any form of external influencing.”