The EU’s Committee of the Regions has launched a European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Award Scheme. This is targeted at any EU City or Region irrespective of size or wealth, but which has outstanding, future-oriented entrepreneurial strategies. It’s not about past achievements, but rather forward looking. It will be of interest to those who have plans to help business develop in its area. LEO, the revamped Local Enterprise Office based within the County Council here in Swords, has just hosted a very successful Enterprise week. We will watch with interest how Fingal’s LEO performs in Europe.
Across the EU, there is concern at the success of political parties which push an extreme right or left agenda. This seems to have some governments reassess their budgetary strategies. Both Italy and France have breached the budget target rules. There is even a report that Mrs Merkel intervened with the outgoing Commission President forcing him to soften his proposed letter of strong rebuke to Renzi the Italian PM. This did not stop the Italian from publishing the letter and setting out battle lines before Barroso’s last Heads of Government meeting.
Following changes and compromises, the new Commission was ratified last week. Juncker confirmed that his Commission would present proposals on a E300b stimulus package for jobs, growth and competitiveness by the end of the year.
The Heads of State have charged the incoming Commissioner from Cyprus, Christos Stylianides, with the task of co-ordinating Europe’s response to the Ebola crisis. This follows the Health Ministers agreeing the generality of airport screening for the virus.
There are reports on the benefits which mobile phones can play in providing good information in tackling large scale crisis. Health advice can be communicated directly, while the networks tracking systems can provide important information in understanding the movement of viruses such as Ebola across countries and continents. In doing so, it is important that an individual’s information is not used inappropriately and that personal data is not abused. Currently operators are slow in making their tracking information available to researchers, so epidemiologists are denied access to an important modern medium in fighting large scale epidemics. It may be that Commissioner Styianides will have this matter addressed in a revised Digital Strategy and then push for a global protocol to be established.