Physicist lined up for top EU research post
Jul 12, 1999
A physicist looks set to be the European Union’s next commissioner for research. Philippe Busquin, a 58-year-old socialist from Belgium, has been put forward by Romano Prodi, the new president of the European Commission. Busquin, who was elected to the European Parliament in June, received a degree in physics from the Free University of Brussels in 1962, and was an assistant physics lecturer in the medical faculty there between 1962 and 1977. Busquin entered politics in 1977 and held various ministerial posts before becoming the vice-president of Socialist International, a federation of socialist parties, in 1992. He was also chairman of the board of directors of the Institute of Radioelements in Belgium from 1978 to 1980. As commissioner for research Busquin will be in charge of the EU’s fifth framework programme for research and development. The four-year programme has a budget of 15 billion euros. Like all the commissioners, Busquin’s appointment has to be approved by the European parliament.