Iliana Ivanova officially appointed commissioner

19 Sep 2023 | News

Member states confirm former EU auditor as new commissioner for research, innovation and education, replacing Mariya Gabriel

Iliana Ivanova, the newly appointed European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth. Photo: Christophe Licoppe / European Union

It’s official: Iliana Ivanova is the new EU commissioner for research, innovation and education, after EU ministers and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen confirmed the appointment today.

Ivanova starts the job at a decisive time for her portfolio, with major evaluations of the €95.5 billion Horizon Europe research programme and the €26.2 billion Erasmus+ education programme underway, and the first moves to shape the next EU research framework programme now in hand.

A former MEP and member of the European Court of Auditors, Ivanova was nominated for the position in late June after her predecessor Mariya Gabriel was called back to Bulgaria to help form a coalition government.

Since her nomination, Ivanova has done her homework on the intricacies of the EU’s numerous research, innovation and education policies, smoothly sailing through a three-hour hearing at the European Parliament in early September.

At the hearing, she named ensuring a stable – and growing – EU budget for research and innovation as a key priority. Here, her experience as vice chair of the European Parliament’s budgetary control committee during her stint as an MEP may come in handy.

Ivanova joins the current Commission just a year before its term ends, but with a long list of priorities. During her tenure, research and innovation policy experts hope to see her concentrating on the next research framework and continuing Mariya Gabriel’s work on closing the EU’s east-west innovation divide.

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