MACRON GIVES SUPPORT TO EU AGENCY FOR DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION
French President Emmanuel Macron, in a much anticipated speech on future reform of the European Union given at the University of the Sorbonne in Paris on 26 September, gave his support to the creation of an EU agency for disruptive innovation.
French President Emmanuel Macron, in a much anticipated speech on future reform of the European Union given at the University of the Sorbonne in Paris on 26 September, gave his support to the creation of an EU agency for disruptive innovation, which very much echoes EU Commissioner for Research Carlos Moedas's own plan for a European Innovation Council.
“Let us create within two years a European agency for innovation, to be in the position of innovator and not of follower,” Mr Macron said before going on to explain “the challenge is to make Europe a champion in digital, artificial intelligence and biotech. If we can do this, we will become a reference model and it will help Europe keep up with the pace of technological discovery in China and the US." Commissioner Moedas was reported to be delighted that his proposed EIC figured so prominently in the French President's speech.
Amongst his proposals to put Europe more centre stage in the lives of ordinary Europeans, Mr Macron also advocated opening up the Erasmus student-exchange programme to non-students. “By 2024, at least half of all young people in Europe should spend six months in another EU country – student or not,” the President said. He also declared himself in favour of creating 20 new “European universities” by 2024, which would be formed by building networks of existing universities that offer new EU-wide diplomas. The European university would require students to take lessons in at least two languages and spend part of their time studying abroad.
In a fiercely pro-European speech, the French President came out in favour of a dozen or so proposals to strengthen the image and functioning of the European Union, including military exchanges between all member states, the introduction of a financial transaction tax that would fund development aid, a minimum carbon price of between €25 and €30 per tonne, a carbon border tax, a revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and greater harmonisation of tax policies so that digital giants like Facebook and Apple can expect to be taxed where they make their money rather than where they are registered.
Mr Macron's speech in full can be read (en français) at https://ue.delegfrance.org/souverainete-unite-et-democratie or in English at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/initiative-europe-emmanuel-macron/