EUA President meets with next EU Commissioner for Innovation and Youth

17 October 2019

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner-designate for Innovation and Youth, was well-received during her official hearing in the European Parliament on 30 September. As the College of Commissioners awaits final approval, Gabriel has already begun meetings with key stakeholders.

This week she sat down with EUA President Michael Murphy to discuss common priorities for European higher education, research and innovation. The President conveyed congratulations on behalf of Europe’s universities and underlined how EUA is pleased to see a holistic vision that can ensure Europe’s knowledge base and brings our societies forward. He also presented the Commissioner-designate with the call for an ambitious European budget for education, research and innovation, Seize our Common Future” signed by EUA together with 14 other networks, as well as more than 300 institutional signatories.

Gabriel’s mission, assigned to her by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, encompasses the entire knowledge triangle and lists research and education among the first items in her remit - including the implementation of the Horizon Europe and Erasmus programmes.

During her three-hour hearing (in addition to written questions and answers) with the Parliament’s research and education committees, Gabriel listed eight challenges that she would work on in the next five years:

  • strengthen Europe’s leadership in science;
  • ensure good conditions for innovation (and keeping it in Europe);
  • close the innovation gap within Europe;
  • better involve citizens and regions;
  • foster international cooperation and science diplomacy,
  • preserve Europe’s heritage and values,
  • deliver on the goals of the EU’s long-term budget and implement Horizon Europe and Erasmus,
  • make progress on gender equality.

EUA strongly supports Gabriel’s mission and believes that having one Commissioner responsible for research, education and innovation could be a game-changer for the EU.

The Association is very much looking forward to the common work to revitalise the European Research Area, strengthen the European Higher Education Area and the European Education Area for the benefit of all countries and institutions in and beyond the EU, and ensure a European budget with strong investments in knowledge.

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