Bulgarian EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel was elected First Vice-President of the European People’s Party (EPP). This happened today at the EPP Congress in Zagreb, Croatia, said the press office of the GERB Group. Mariya Gabriel was elected with 442 votes in favour, thus gathering the most support compared to the other 9 deputies of the new president, Donald Tusk.

Mariya Gabriel has been Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society since July 2017. Under her leadership, the European Commission’s digital single market has become a reality. She also created the first pan-European Digital Europe programme with a budget of EUR 9.2 billion. Bulgaria’s commissioner is the author of the WIFI4EU initiative for free access to Wi-Fi Internet in public spaces in municipalities throughout Europe. She also created the first EU Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans, and in July 2019 the roaming charges between the six Balkan countries were drastically reduced.

In the next term of office of the European Commission, 2019-2024, Mariya Gabriel will be responsible for the Innovation and Youth portfolio involving the EU policies related to the Horizon Europe programme, innovation, research, Erasmus +, education and culture.

In May 2009, Mariya Gabriel was elected Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the GERB/EPP list. She was re-elected as MEP in 2014 and became the head of the Bulgarian EPP delegation in the EPP Group. From 2014 to 2017, she was the Vice-President of the EPP Group.

She was twice elected MEP of the year: in 2016 in the Development category and in 2013 in the Gender Equality category.