The EU has announced Bulgarian economist Iliana Ivanova as its new commissioner for research, innovation, culture, education and youth, following the resignation of Mariya Gabriel in May to help Bulgaria form a new coalition government. Currently, Gabriel is Bulgaria’s deputy prime minister under prime minister Nikolai Denkov, a chemist.

Ivanova has been a member of the EU’s financial audit body, the European Court of Auditors since 2013, and was previously a member of the European parliament from 2009 to 2012. For a period, she was a vice chair of the parliament’s budgetary control committee.

Ivanova’s official appointment won’t come until the parliament and member states approve her nomination. ‘Her experience is crucial in carrying forward the implementation of the EU’s flagship research programme, Horizon Europe, to enhance the performance of EU’s research spending and achieve a better impact on the ground,’ stated European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in announcing Ivanova’s nomination. She is also expected to be involved in the negotiations for the next EU framework programme for research and innovation that will follow Horizon Europe.

‘I thank President @vonderleyen for giving me the chance to advocate for the future of [Europe] by entrusting me with the role of commissioner-designate for innovation, research, culture, education and youth,’ Ivanova tweeted. Her term will end next year, after the EU elections that are slated for June 2024.