The European Parliament questioned Carlos Moedas, who has been nominated to be the new European Commissioner for Research, Innovation, and Science, during a three-hour session, the Nature New Blog reports.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the incoming European Commission president, nominated Moedas, an economist by training, for the spot earlier this month. The hearings, the Nature New Blog notes, enable Parliament to gauge each nominee's skills, qualifications, and integrity. The new Commission is take office next month, but the European Parliament can veto the slate of nominees.
"Responding to 50 or so questions, [Moedas] showed himself knowledgeable on issues ranging from shale gas, to genetically-modified organisms, to antibiotic resistance," the Nature News Blog says. "He declared himself a strong believer in the value of basic research in driving innovation."
It adds that if the slate of nominees is approved, "Moedas's challenge will be to make his mild and rational — and decidedly non-charismatic — approach an effective one."