Potocnik takes the reins

Slovenian technocrat faces tough challenges as new European commissioner for research

Jane Burgermeister(

Scientists in Slovenia are celebrating the appointment of Janez Potočnik as the new European commissioner for research. The 46-year-old will take charge of the European Union's science policy and budget on November 1, for a 5-year term.

An economist who led the EU negotiating team of Slovenia–which joined the European Union on May 1 this year–Potočnik said that he is committed to the objective of raising the amount Europe spends on research and development to an average of 3% of gross domestic product.

"The task ahead of me is a real challenge–to contribute to making the most out of the huge research potential in Europe," he said in a statement.

He added that science and research are among "the most important [ways] for achieving the goals of the Lisbon Strategy," which aims to make Europe one of the most competitive knowledge-based economies in the world.

Potočnik and outgoing...

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