05 Sep 2023
Commissioner-designate Iliana Ivanova presents her priorities for research and innovation
On 5 September 2023, the Hearing of Commissioner-designate Iliana Ivanova took place at the European Parliament. Ms Ivanova was nominated to replace Mariya Gabriel, who resigned on 15 May to become Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Bulgaria.
Commissioner-designate Iliana Ivanova presented her priorities for investing in research and innovation in the EU, boosting skills, promoting the cohesive role of culture and empowering youth. On her vision for the remaining year of the Commission, she mentioned the key role of R&I in achieving European goals, skills, talent, and the role of culture for society. The EU is a scientific powerhouse, she stressed, but the landscape remains "fragmented" and investment is below the 3% of GDP target and behind global competitors. She promised to do her utmost to support the Horizon Europe programme to ensure that Europe can "lead the way at global level" and attract more resources, including through partnerships, and to facilitate access to finance for SMEs.
A solid, long-term budget is needed, and private funding must also be mobilised and synergies exploited, Ms Ivanova said. She metioned the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) as a new tool which should put Europe in a leading role. SMEs should benefit more from Horizon Europe. Furthermore, the European Research Area (ERA) was mentioned as a priority.
Among the goals Ms. Ivanova mentioned were simplification and raising the breakthrough potential of the European Innovation Council (EIC). She stated that she is aware of the criticism on the EIC and wants to be in dialogue with the EP on this. For Horizon Europe as a tool at global level, she wants to promote the association of third countries and at the same time ensure reciprocity. Furthermore she mentioned efforts towards gender equality and promotion of female careers. The New European Bauhaus is advancing projects to turn the Green Deal into tangible results, Ms Ivanova said.
As a next step, the Conference of Presidents will conduct the final evaluation, based on the committees’ recommendations and the assessment by the Conference of Committee Chairs, on 6 September, and will then decide whether to close the hearing process and hold a vote during the September plenary session.
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