Concern over timing of EU research commissioner’s recall

European Union Research Commissioner Mariya Gabriel was called to Sofia on Tuesday 9 May to form the next government of Bulgaria, throwing a spanner in the works during a decisive time for EU research and innovation policy, writes Goda Naujokaityte for Science|Business.

After a snap election last month – the fifth since 2021 – Gabriel’s centre-right party GERB came out ahead, but now needs to form a coalition government. That will be a tough task during a volatile time for Bulgarian politics, but if Gabriel succeeds, she’ll be leaving her position overseeing the broad portfolio of innovation, research, culture, education and youth at the European Commission.

For Brussels’ research policy, the nomination comes at a “particularly unfortunate” time, says Mattias Björnmalm, secretary general of the university association CESAER. In the next year, the commission is expected to draft and publish the strategic plan for the second half of the EU’s €95.5 billion (US$104 billion) Horizon Europe research programme and set the outlines for the next seven-year research and education programmes due to kick off in 2028.
Full report on the Science|Business site