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EU member states have appointed Iliana Ivanova as the new EU Commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth by common accord with the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The appointment follows the resignation of Mariya Gabriel as Commissioner and is for the remainder of the term of office of the Commission, which runs until 31 October 2024. The new Commissioner took office amid evaluations of the Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ programmes. At the same time, preparations for designing the new programmes are under way.
At the hearing in the European Parliament (EP), Ivanova, a former MEP and member of the European Court of Auditors, stressed that ensuring higher budget for research and innovation is her key priority. EU lawmakers supported Ivanova's candidacy, with 522 votes in favour, 51 abstentions and 27 votes against, while the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) supported her candidacy after a three hour hearing. In the appointment of a new European Commissioner, the EP only has a consultative role. Their approval was considered by the Council, the Commission and President Ursula von der Leyen at her formal appointment.
The expectations from the stakeholder community are to focus on the upcoming framework programmes until the end of her term, which will be next year.