The Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament is the chamber’s third largest, with 67 members. It recently announced a new chair, Jerzy Buzek. Buzek served on the Committee from 2004-2009, before presiding over Parliament from 2009-2012. He is also a former Prime Minister of Poland. That someone with his background would take the position reflects its importance.
Buzek will serve as chair for half of the 5-year term of the current Parliament. in January of 2017 he will be replaced by former European budget commissioner (and fellow Pole) Janusz Lewandowski. It is expected that he would continue the ITRE Committee’s encouragement of Horizon 2020, the European Union’s latest research programme.
The shift in personnel reflects recent European Parliamentary elections. The new European Commission President will be formally announced later this week (the sole nominee is former Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker). Whomever will be the Commissioner responsible for research will be determined by the incoming President.