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Potocnik takes the reins

Slovenian technocrat faces tough challenges as new European commissioner for research

Jane Burgermeister(janeburgermeister@yahoo.co.uk)

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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