Friday

9th Dec 2016

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"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."

EU public lacks voice on banking laws

The complexity of financial laws and lack of NGO resources means the “man in the street” has little say on EU banking regulation, the EU Commission has warned.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  2. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  3. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  5. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  7. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  8. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  9. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  10. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  11. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  12. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children