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European Parliament confirms Iliana Ivanova as new EU innovation chief

Iliana Ivanova
Iliana Ivanova Copyright Eric VIDAL/ European Union 2023 - Source : EP
Copyright Eric VIDAL/ European Union 2023 - Source : EP
By Mared Gwyn Jones
Published on Updated
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The European Parliament has backed the appointment of Iliana Ivanova as the new European Commissioner for Innovation and Research.


In a plenary vote held in Strasbourg on Tuesday, 522 EU lawmakers voted in favour of the appointment, with 27 against and 51 abstentions.

The 47-year-old Bulgarian was nominated for the role after Mariya Gabriel stepped down in May to become Bulgaria's foreign affairs minister.

Her appointment comes as Brussels enters its last leg of the legislative term, with little time for new initiatives before the European elections take place in June next year. 

When questioned by members of the European Parliament (MEPs) last Tuesday, Ivanova vowed to put the European Union "back in the race" for global leadership in new technologies.

She also pitched plans to boost EU investment in research and innovation (R&I), foster education and skills and promote European culture.

Ivanova will inherit responsibility for managing Horizon Europe, the EU's flagship €95.5-billion programme, which funds R&I projects aimed at boosting economic growth and industrial competitiveness. She will also oversee flagship EU education programmes such as Erasmus+.

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