News archive - The New European Commission 2019-2024: EU perspectives for WBs and new Commissioner responsible for R&I

On 10 September 2019, President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen presented her team and the new structure of the next European Commission. Von der Leyen confirmed the European perspective in the countries of the Western Balkans. Mariya Gabriel was nominated as European Commissioner for ‘Innovation and Youth’. This new portfolio would cover research, education, innovation, youth culture and sports.


According to the European Commission's press release, "the new Commission will reflect the priorities and ambitions set out in the Political Guidelines. The Commission is structured around the objectives President-elect von der Leyen was elected on by the European Parliament.

At the heart of our work is the need to address the changes in climate, technology and demography that are transforming our societies and way of life. Existing powers are going down new paths alone. New powers are emerging and consolidating. This has left a feeling of unease and anxiety in many communities across Europe. The EU must lead the transition to a healthy planet and a new digital world. But it can only do so by bringing people together and upgrading our unique social market economy to fit today's new ambitions."

A new Structure

The new College will have eight Vice-Presidents, including the High-Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy (Josep Borrell). The Vice-Presidents are responsible for the top priorities in the Political Guidelines. They will steer our work on the most important overarching issues, such as the European Green Deal, a Europe fit for the digital age, an economy that works for people, protecting our European way of life, a stronger Europe in the world and a new push for European democracy. The Commissioners are at the centre of the structure of the new College. They will manage the expertise provided by the Directorates-General.

New European Commissioner and a new portfolio: “Innovation and youth”

In their September Newsletter, the ACA (Academic Cooperation Association) specifically highlights Mariya Gabriel, who previously served as the Commissioner for ‘Digital Single Market’ in the Juncker Commission, and was nominated as European Commissioner for ‘Innovation and Youth’, in the von der Leyen Commission. This new portfolio would cover research, education, innovation, youth culture and sports. Education and research will therefore be joined under the responsibility of a single Commissioner, who would rely on the support of DG EAC and DG RTD, which would continue as distinct entities, according to the mission letter from von der Leyen to the Commissioner-designate.

In this same mission letter, Von Der Leyen explicitly supported the increase of Horizon Europe funding and the tripling of the budget of the future Erasmus programme, as proposed by the European Parliament, further aligning thus the positions of the two institutions. Next to the flagship programmes Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, von der Leyen expectedly supported already ongoing policy priorities: European Education Area, European Research Area, European Universities Initiative and Digital Education Action Plan.

Find here more information on the new Commissioners and related mission letters


Geographical focus
  • EC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • General

Entry created by Marie Croce on October 1, 2019
Modified on May 1, 2020