Bulgaria’s European Commissioner Maria Gabriel was elected as First Vice-President of the European People’s Party (EPP) on November 21, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party said on its website.
At the EPP congress in Zagreb, Croatia, a total of 442 delegates voted in favour of Gabriel, thus garnering the most support compared with the other nine deputies of the new EPP president, Donald Tusk, GERB said.
Gabriel has been European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society from July 2017 to the present day. In the Ursula von der Leyen Commission, expected to take office on December 1, she will hold the Innovation and Youth Portfolio.
In her new portfolio, Gabriel will guide EU policies related to the Horizon Europe program, innovation, research, the Erasmus + program, education and culture.
GERB was elected an MEP in May 2009 on the GERB list. She was re-elected to the European Parliament in 2014 and became head of the GERB delegation to the EPP. From 2014 to 2017, she was the vice-president of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
She was twice elected MEP of the year: in 2016 in the Development category and in 2013 in the Gender Equality category, GERB said.
Gabriel led the GERB list in the May 2019 European Parliament elections in Bulgaria, but declined to take up the seat to which she was elected, choosing to remain a member of the European Commission.
(Photo of Borissov and Maria Gabriel: GERB)