RESEARCH IS STILL VISIBLE IN THE EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT'S STRUCTURE
When in September the list of candidates for the new EU commissioners was made public, scientists in Europe noticed with surprise and horror that research was no more visible anywhere. Research would be taken care of by the commissioner on Innovation and Youth. That was a big shock and a campaign of signatures was launched by a group of scientists of different European countries. After weeks of intense lobbying, incoming commission president Ursula von der Leyen gave in to pressure, at the last possible moment.
Von der Leyen’s last-minute decision meant that rather than being appointed Innovation and Youth Commissioner, Bulgarian Mariya Gabriel became commissioner for Research, Innovation, Education, Culture & Youth.
Some people could think that this was not so important, since in her initial mission letter to commissioner Gabriel President von der Leyen emphasized that ”education, research and innovation would be key for European competitiveness”, but still, European scientists felt that this was not acceptable, that symbols are important, and that the importance of science could not disappear from the structure of the European Government.