On 22 October 2014, the European Parliament approved the new European Commission [EC] team presented by Jean-Claude Juncker, who started their term of office on 1 November 2014.
The President Jean-Claude Junker put forward his agenda and presented his team earlier this year. In ten policy areas, he focused in particular on “a new boost for jobs, growth and investment”, “a connected digital single market”, and “a resilient energy union with a forward-looking climate change policy”, to quote the first priorities in the list.
The new EC team will have seven Vice-Presidents, six in addition to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy (Federica Mogherini), each leading a project team. They will be steering and coordinating the work of a number of Commissioners in units that may change according to need and as new projects develop.
Research, Science and Innovation
Carlos Moedas, from Portugal, is the Commissioner-designate for Research, Science and Innovation. Born in 1970, Carlos Moedas benefited from the Erasmus programme as a student, graduated in civil engineering and worked for investment companies before being elected a Member of the Portuguese Parliament in 2011.
In his hearing dated 30 September in Brussels, he presented his main priorities for Europe:
- “advance with the creation of the framework conditions that enable the full potential of European research, science and innovation”;
- “improve policy coordination, namely through better monitoring. We need to explore synergies with the European Structural and Investment Funds at national and regional level, strategies across all Member States to strengthen research capacities and innovation”;
- ” be particularly vigilant on the gender dimension – not just because this is a question of fairness, but because we cannot afford to waste any talent” ;
- “implementing the Innovation Investment Package, developing innovative financial instruments (including for SMEs), and focusing on energy efficiency and competitive low-carbon energy, especially on renewables”;
- “defend the value of excellence in science and research. The foundations for Europe’s global standing and potential in research, science and innovation rely on the creative freedom of scientists and researchers, specially those engaged in frontier research projects”.
In his hearing, Carlos Moedas also insisted on the team work in line with goals stated by the EC president in his mission letter. He emphasized the relevance of his role of leader in the field of innovation for the other portfolios of the Commission: “I will be the torchbearer for research, science and innovation.”
It will be interesting for us to stay informed about the work of the Commission on Research, Science and Innovation. It will be also useful to follow more closely how the work of the Research Infrastructures Unit impacts on the physics community’s expectations.
- Letter from Jean-Claude Juncker to Carlos Moedas
- Hearing of Carlos Moedas on 30 October 2014 in Brussels
- the European Commission: http://blogactiv.eu/, @EU_Community, #NewCommission