New EU Commissioners Open Letter

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The Board of University Women of Europe already signed an open letter to demand that the EU commission revises the title for commissioner Mariya Gabriel to “Education, Research, Innovation and Youth” and we kindly invite our members to support this petition, too.


The candidates for the new EU commissioners were presented last week (Web link to press release). In the new commission the areas of education and research are not explicitly represented anymore and instead are  subsumed under the “innovation and youth” title. This emphasizes economic exploit ability (i.e. “innovation”) over its foundation, which is education and research, and it reduces “education” to “youth” while being essential to all ages.

President von der Leyen, in her mission letter to commissioner Mariya Gabriel (Web link to Mandate Letter), has emphasized that “education, research and innovation will be key to our competitiveness”.

We, as members of the scientific community of Europe, wish to address this situation early on and emphasize both to the general public, as well as to relevant politicians on the national and European Union level, that without dedication to education and research there will neither exist a sound basis for innovation in Europe, nor can we fulfill the promise of a high standard of living for the citizens of Europe in a fierce global competition.

With this open letter we demand that the EU commission revises the title for commissioner Gabriel to “Education, Research, Innovation and Youth” reflecting Europe’s dedication to all of these crucial areas. We also call upon the European Parliament to request this change in name before confirming the nominees for commissioner.

Please support this letter by signing up as a supporter via

The original letter here

3 thoughts on “New EU Commissioners Open Letter

    Jenny M Morley said:
    October 6, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    On behalf of the British Federation of Women Graduates
    I feel that our voice is no longer relevant unfortunately in
    view of the impending withdrawal of the UK from the EU
    However as CER I agree it is most important for all of you to be vociferous in demanding that the brief for the relevant Commissioner be clarified.
    That important areas Education and Research are to be
    subsumed under Youth etc is unthinkable as older people also participate in education and research

      Roxana Elena Petrescu responded:
      October 21, 2019 at 5:29 pm

      Dear Jenny,
      Thanks for your comments that came in a time when European relations are tested at all fronts, we will provide continuous collaboration and a voice to all European graduate women and BFWG will remain an integral part of that.
      The President and Board of UWE will continue through their legal presence at the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the European Women Lobby to promote lifelong learning.
      Projects are already considered to support gender equality and establish platform to share experiences .
      We are hopeful that New EU commission President Ursula von der Leyen will have a positive impact on these matters.

    […] quali molti italiani, come Luciano Maiani e Massimo Inguscio”. Altre adesioni sono giunte da University Women of Europe, dalla Federation of European Neuroscience Societies e dall’European Brain […]

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