On 27 November 2019, the European Parliament voted to elect the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen, allowing it to take office on 1 December 2019. Bulgarian Mariya Gabriel is the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth for 2019-2024.
The Commissioner Gabriel is missioned, among other issues, to enable the tripling of the Erasmus+ programme budget and to support that all beneficiaries can make use of the opportunities of the programme. She will be working on the realisation of the European Education Area by 2025, in close cooperation with regional and national authorities, to remove barriers to learning and to improve access to quality education. Ms. Gabriel is furthermore missioned to push the full implementation of the European Universities initiative. The initiative aims at enabling students to obtain a degree by combining studies in several European countries while contributing to the international standing and competitiveness of European universities. Moreover, digitalisation is considered an important task for the new Commissioner as increased digital literacy can significantly contribute to the narrowing of the digital skills gap. This involves the updating of the Digital Education Action Plan and efforts to see how the potential of massive open online courses can be fully realised.