Monday

12th Nov 2018

Chirac to compete with Google

  • Jacques Chirac's pet project Quaero is aimed at competing with US dominance on the Internet (Photo: European Commission)

French president Jacques Chirac has whole-heartedly lent his support to a Franco-German attempt to create a European multimedia search engine on the Internet, aimed at competing with US Internet giants such as Google.

In a New Year speech to the nation late last week, Mr Chirac described "Project Quaero" as a much-needed answer to the global challenge posed by American dominance on the Internet.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"We must meet the global challenge of the American giants Google and Yahoo," Mr Chirac said about the future search engine, already dubbed by media as Mr Chirac's "pet project".

"Today the new geography of knowledge and cultures is being drawn. Tomorrow, that which is not available online runs the risk of being invisible to the world," he continued according to press reports.

The word "Quaero" means "I seek" in Latin, and was chosen to name the project to avoid offending either German or French speakers.

Setting up a European Google-style engine is also part of a broader French and German plan to lift up the old continent to US and Japanese research and development levels.

The creators of Quaero say it will not just be a compelling alternative to Google as a search engine, but a set of tools for translating, identifying and indexing images, sound and text.

The initiative will be funded by both government and private entities in France and Germany, with the French contribution of 150 million euro coming from the newly established Agency for Industrial Innovation.

The firm Thomson is expected to lead the French side, while the German counterpart Bertelsmann is reported to be Germany's main player.

The project, for which interest has risen dramatically after president Chirac’s official adoption, has been both praised and ridiculed over the last few days.

"There is already a good French search engine - it's called Google.fr," commentators on the Internet joke, writes the Financial Times.

The French satirical newspaper Le Canard enchaîné has also ridiculed Quaero:

"Compared with Microsoft's €30bn profits or Google's €100bn capitalisation, Chirac's announcement is really going to spread panic in Silicon Valley."

Greek austerity violated right to health, says watchdog

Cuts in the Greek health care system, following the austerity cuts demanded in return for international bailouts, have violated the European Social Charter on the right to health, says Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, Dunja Mijatovic.

Analysis

Salvini is gambling with core voters' future in budget battle

Businesses in northern Italy are anxiously watching the standoff between the European Commission and the Italian government. They used to be the 'Northern League's' most important electorate - but the party's profile and priorities have changed.

EU commission eyes majority tax rules

The commission plans to address tax avoidance schemes in some EU states by shifting tax decisions away from unanimity to a majority system in what amounts to a long shot.

EU commission rejects Italy's budget plans

The EU executive has asked Italy to resubmit its budget in an unprecedented rebuke, while warning Rome that public debt was the "enemy of the people".

News in Brief

  1. UK seeks swift use of new EU chemical weapons blacklist
  2. Barnier briefs EU ministers: intense negotiations continue
  3. Romanian minister preparing EU presidency steps down
  4. Finland says Russia possibly behind GPS jamming
  5. German AfD leader under fire for Swiss campaign funding
  6. Seehofer announces he will step down as CSU party leader
  7. EU condemns elections in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine
  8. German Greens pick two top candidates for EU election

Stakeholder

An open China brings opportunities to Europe

Some 60 years ago, the first major World Fair after World War II was held in Brussels. Sixty years on, China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first world expo dedicated to expanding imports, will open in Shanghai, China.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Romanian leaders trade jibes over upcoming EU presidency
  2. EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press
  3. EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name
  4. Fear of nationalist surge marks European memorials
  5. Liberals ally with Macron for election, but no candidate yet
  6. Revealed: Link between MEPs CO2 votes and domestic car jobs
  7. All Quiet on the Eastern Front?
  8. Merkel and Brexit in spotlight This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us