Europe’s universities welcome the newly-unveiled list of proposed EU commissioners and their portfolios.
The College of Commissioners and their areas proposed by President-elect Ursula von der Leyen point to a fresh and ambitious approach for the next five years. It is particularly welcome that the digital transformation and the climate crisis are dealt with at the vice-president level.
Europe needs a strong knowledge base to meet the challenges and ambitions set out in the political guidelines for the new Commission. For this reason, the European University Association (EUA) has continuously called for a close connection of the areas of research, innovation and education. Tight coordination and coherence between the innovation policies and the policies for research and education will be crucial to fulfil the overall ambitions of the new Commission.
A Commissioner for Innovation and Youth that can connect the three parts of the knowledge triangle and recognise the strength and importance of the different elements of the triangle is an extremely welcome innovation. For this task, a strong Commissioner is needed. EUA welcomes the proposed candidate for this role, Mariya Gabriel, current Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. In an open letter to Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen and Commissioner-designate Mariya Gabriel, the Association puts forward key policy issues for universities for the new mandate. In addition, the Association is also providing questions for the hearing of Mariya Gabriel in the European Parliament in order to ensure that important points for universities are taken up.