Iliana Ivanova has been confirmed as new European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

After being nominated on 28 June 2023 by Ursula von der Leyen, Iliana Ivanova was approved as the new Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth by the European Parliament on 12 September.

On 12 September, 522 Members of Parliament voted in favour of appointing Ivanova as the new Commissioner, 27 voted against and 51 abstained. Commissioner Ivanova will replace Mariya Gabriel, who resigned as EU Commissioner on 15 May to take the role Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Bulgaria.

The previous week, on 5 September, the Industry, Research and Energy Committee and the Culture and Education Committee held a three-hour hearing to assess Iliana Ivanova’s suitability to replace Mariya Gabriel. The Micheal Culture Association made an excellent summary of the main points brought up in the hearing. Regarding culture, Ivanova would like to see a simplification of the Horizon Europe programme to reduce bureaucracy and error rates, for instance by introducing lump sums.

Recently NEMO signed a letter of concern regarding a proposed cut of the Creative Europe programme by 40 million euro. Therefore, we are pleased to learn that Commissioner Ivanova pledged her support for the budget and cooperation with the European Parliament to protect and strengthen the Creative Europe programme. She emphasized the importance of Creative Europe and its significant contributions to Europe's GDP (4.4%), while consuming only 0.15% of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) budget.

The Commissioner also touched upon the need to enhance the synergies between different EU funding programmes, strengthening vocational education and the issue of promoting multilingualism and including minority languages in European programmes.

Iliana Ivanov (Bulgaria) has been a member of the European Court of Auditors since 2013. Beforehand, she was a former member of the European Parliament (between 2009 and 2012). During her term in the Parliament she was a vice chair of the Committee on budgetary control.

NEMO wishes Iliana Ivanova best of luck in her new role and looks forward to collaborating on topics relating to museums and culture.

The Directorate-General Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) has also gotten a new Director-General in addition to the new Commissioner Ivanova. Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, former Head of the Commission’s Communication department takes over after Themis Christophidou, who took up the position as Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO).