Johannes Hahn

Budget and Administration


Tasked with ensuring the successful delivery of the long-term EU budget 2021-27, Austrian Commissioner Johannes Hahn’s career has particularly focused on improving public relations for science and research. Starting in the youth organisation of the Austrian People’s Party, he rose to Chair before serving as Austrian Minister for Science and Research from 2007 to 2010. Hahn increased student grants by 12 percent and gained membership for Austria to the European Southern Observatory – something he described as “one of the most significant decisions in the field of research for 20 years”. He joined the Commission with a remit of Regional Policy in 2010, and implemented ambitious reform which saw him closely aligned with the European Union’s economic governance policies. Becoming Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations in 2014, he oversaw the EU’s response to the civil wars in Syria and Libya, as well as the war in Ukraine (signing the 2016 agreement on financing the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative there). A proponent of the suggested carbon tax plan – the “Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism” – which would place a levy on foreign imports that don’t meet EU carbon reduction targets, Hahn controversially voted against the greening policy in 2021, citing budgetary concerns.