10 / 09 / 2019
EC President-elect Ursula von der Leyen anounced the draft list of Commissioners-designate and their portfolios
On 9 September 2019, the European Commission (EC) President-elect Ursula von der Leyen announced the draft list of Commissioners-designate, composed of 14 men and 13 women (1 per EU Member State except the UK), suggested by the Member States as candidates. On 10 September, Ms von der Leyen announced the distribution of portfolios and the way she intends to organise the work of the next EC.
The new College will have eight Vice-Presidents who will be responsible for the top priorities in the Political Guidelines. Three Executive Vice-Presidents will have a double function: they will be both Commissioners and Vice-President responsible for one of three core topics of the President-elect’s agenda (European Green Deal, Europe fit for the digital age, Economy that Works for People) and leading a Commissioners’ Group. All Commissioners-designate will now have to be approved individually by the European Parliament (EP) following hearings end September and early October, before a formal approval end of October. Once agreed by the EP, the Council has to formally approve the new EC, who will then take office on 1 November.
Among the Commissioners-designate, some have a particular relevance for EARTO and the future of research and innovation in Europe:
Ms Mariya Gabriel (Bulgaria), Commissioner for Innovation and Youth: Ms Gabriel has been of Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2009 to 2014, re-elected in 2014, and has left the EP in 2017 to become European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society up until today. Ms von der Leyen has developed the missions assigned to Ms Gabriel in a mission letter, which includes:
- Ensure swift agreement on and full implementation of the future Horizon Europe programme
- Ensure sufficient investment flows to disruptive research and breakthrough innovations, notably through the European Innovation Council
- Build a true European Research Area
- Ensure that research, policy and economic priorities go hand in hand, by working with Commissioners across the entire range of EU policies, contributing to the new industrial strategy and making the most of the new thematic missions within the future Horizon Europe programme
- Promote creative industries as a catalyst for innovation, jobs and growth
Ms Sylvie Goulard (France), Commissioner for Internal Market: MS Goulard has been advisor to former EC President Romano Prodi from 2001 to 2004 and was elected MEP twice in 2009 and 2014. She was appointed Minister of the Armed Forces in France in 2017. Her mission letter includes the following responsibilities in the new EC:
- Contribute to the work on enhancing Europe’s technological sovereignty by investing in the next frontier of technologies (blockchain, high-performance computing, algorithms, and data-sharing and data-usage tools, defining standards for 5G networks and new generation technologies)
- Lead the work on a coordinated European approach on artificial intelligence and on the new Digital Services Act
- Building a real single market for cybersecurity
- Contribute to a comprehensive long-term strategy for Europe’s industrial future (all aspects that affect industry and its competitiveness, from investment and public procurement to trade, skills, innovation and supporting SMEs)
- Contribute to the new SME strategy to help them scale up and expand, including through improved access to finance.
- Ensure a coherent intellectual property regime that is fit for the digital age and supports EU competitiveness.
- Lead the Commission’s reflections on issues such as Europe’s technological sovereignty in key value chains, including in the defence and space sectors, common standards and future trends
- Implement the European Defence Fund
- Implement the future Space Programme
- Focus on improving the crucial link between space and defence and security
Both Ms Gabriel and Ms Goulard will work under the guidance of Ms Margrethe Vestager (Denmark), Executive Vice-President for Europe fit for the Digital Age. Ms Vestager held various political positions in Denmark as Minister and Member of the Parliament and is the current European Commissioner for Competition since 2014. Her responsibilities listed in her mission letter include:
- Co-lead the work on a new long-term strategy for Europe’s industrial future
- Maximise the contribution of investment in research and innovation in supporting our policy objectives
- Ensure cross-fertilisation between civil, defence and space industries
- Co-lead the work on a new SME strategy
- Work on a European approach on artificial intelligence
- Strengthening competition enforcement in all sectors
- Evaluate and review Europe’s competition rules
- Make the most of Important Projects of Common European Interest