French President Emmanuel Macron gave a speech at VivaTech in Paris, alternating between French and English. He defended a 3rd solution to regulate tech firms, which is completely different from the U.S. and from China.
Macron thinks Europe ought to have a say in the case of regulation — and it shouldn’t be nearly privateness. In fact, he defended GDPR and on-line privateness, however he additionally talked about taxes, cyberbullying, the safety of unbiased employees and extra.
What’s at stake is how we construct a European mannequin reconciling innovation and customary good Emmanuel Macron
Yesterday, Macron hosted 50 tech CEOs to speak about leveraging tech for the widespread good, particularly in the case of schooling, labor and variety. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked in regards to the occasion earlier than Macron took the stage.
Macron first began with a couple of numbers on the French tech ecosystem. “I need to speak to the whole French ecosystem right here at the moment. What we’re all doing is crucial for our nation and the world,” he stated.
Primarily based on his numbers, startups raised $2.9 billion in France final 12 months (€2.5 billion). That’s thrice as a lot as in 2015. He then listed among the current adjustments, from company taxes to France’s open information coverage and the French Tech Visa.
He didn’t have a lot to say in regards to the tech business particularly. You would really feel that he has loads on his plate proper now and that tech is kind of an afterthought.
“France is altering like loopy. And that is why we will say that France is again,” he stated in English to conclude the primary a part of his speech.
“My second message is for Africa since you determined to ask Africa to VivaTech this 12 months,” he stated.
Macron then introduced that France goes to take a position some public cash in probably the most promising African startups. “For the previous six months, the French Growth Company has labored onerous on this,” he stated. “And the French Growth Company goes to announce within the coming weeks a brand new particular program of €65 million [$76 million] with a purpose to make investments small quantities, €30,000 to €50,000 per startup.”
A message to massive tech firms
Lastly, Macron talked in regards to the Tech for Good Summit and tech regulation usually. “We’re at present experiencing a revolution. I actually consider in that revolution and our nation believes in it too,” he stated. “However you’ll be able to’t deny that some folks in our nation and on the earth concern change.”
“Tech firms haven’t all the time been exemplary. Some haven’t complied with taxation legal guidelines and it has fostered distrust — even from French entrepreneurs.”
Macron then defended France’s challenge to create a European tax on big tech companies. If the French Authorities can persuade different European Governments, massive tech firms could be taxed on native income in every European nation. It might be a solution to keep away from tax optimization schemes. Smaller European international locations with a decrease company tax price don’t appear satisfied but.
“I am an enormous tech optimist and this nation does consider in innovation,” he stated. “Nevertheless it’s not sufficient — getting cash, creating jobs and making shareholders pleased is nice. Particularly creating jobs so far as I am involved.”
Macron additionally criticized U.S. regulation on tech firms, saying that the U.S. Authorities isn’t doing sufficient in the case of on-line harassment, taxes, labor and extra.
He then criticized the Chinese language mannequin, saying that the Chinese language Authorities isn’t doing sufficient in the case of privateness, human rights and gender equality.
“What’s at stake is how we construct a European mannequin reconciling innovation and customary good,” he stated. “We have now to work collectively to construct this widespread framework.”
After yesterday’s commitments, the French Authorities goes to trace tech firms each six months to see if they really implement what they promised in the case of tech for good.
He additionally completed by saying that the Tech for Good Summit ought to turn out to be an annual initiative. Tech CEOs will likely be invited as soon as once more to the Élysée subsequent 12 months forward of VivaTech.