However, that’s not all there is to it. The Wall Street Journal, citing French briefing documents ahead of an EU summit later this month, notes that France also wants the EU to regulate a small number of platforms for Internet and digital applications. Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple are in the crosshairs. “The current situation makes it difficult for European champions to emerge at a global scale,” French digital economy minister Fleur Pellerin said in a recent interview. “Europe needed new regulatory powers to intervene much earlier, to level the playing field in the Internet economy and allow the emergence of alternatives in Europe to U.S. Web giants.” Apparently, France seeks to tackle U.S. Internet juggernauts’ global dominance by setting more aggressive rules. But can you really regulate or even tax your way back to achieving a competitive advantage? What happened to dazzling the public with leading-edge products and innovative solutions? Not enough conformists? For the four-year period between 2008 to 2012, the Innovation Union Scoreboard — the barometer that gauges the bloc’s innovation performance — showed an annual average growth rate of 1.6%.However, the bloc had a hard time keeping pace with major innovation leaders, including the U.S. Source: European Commission, Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 So, it’s not that Europeans are not creative,it’s just that, as a whole, they don’t perform as effectively as the U.S.

France coach Deschamps has World Cup playoffs firmly in mind ahead of Australia friendly

France’s FIFA ranking has slipped to a lowly 25th, so it needs to win Friday’s friendly against Australia and its last qualifier against Finland four days later to have a stronger chance of being among the seeded teams when the draw is made. Spain is level on points with second-place France but has home games against Belarus and Georgia. “Yes, there is something at stake. They’re not the two most exciting games, but they’re internationals. I don’t want people easing up and lacking concentration because ‘It’s only Australia, it’s Finland,'” Deschamps said Monday. “Both are important, because we can earn some points, and given what awaits us in November that can help us be among the seeded teams.” France’s form has been patchy throughout qualifying, with the highlight being an excellent second-half performance in the 1-1 draw away to Spain, and the lows being a tepid 0-0 draw away to Georgia and a terrible first-half performance against Belarus last month. France trailed 1-0 at halftime and 2-1 before rallying with late goals to win 4-2 and put some gloss on an otherwise poor showing. “Unfortunately we alternate the good and the bad,” Deschamps said. “There was a fear of failure. Belarus played really well in the first half – I had never seen them play that well – but we responded well in the second half.” A recurring problem for Deschamps has been the lack of goals from forwards, and with one qualifier remaining it is still unclear who is France’s first choice up front. Karim Benzema has not scored in 15 internationals and was dropped against Belarus, with Olivier Giroud taking his place but not scoring, either. It is unlikely that they will play together, as that has not worked on the occasions Deschamps has paired them alongside each other.

Sebastien Ogier celebrates world title by winning Rally France; Loeb’s last race ends in crash

6, 2013, near Cleebourg eastern France. Both men were not injured. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)The Associated Press STRASBOURG, France Sebastien Ogier celebrated his world title by winning the Rally France on Sunday while nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb’s last race ended in a crash. Ogier took the overall lead by winning the three morning stages before containing his rivals in the three afternoon stages. The Frenchman clinched the world title on Thursday when Thierry Neuville of Belgium failed to win the power stage. Ogier finished the race 12.2 seconds ahead of Dani Sordo of Spain. Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland took third place, 19.5 seconds off the pace. Thierry Neuville of Belgium placed fourth, more than a minute behind Ogier. In the rain-soaked stage 15, Loeb’s Citroen DS3 slid wide on a corner and rolled before landing on its roof. The French driver was not injured in the crash.