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As France takes over the EU Council leadership, President Emmanuel Macron has called for renewed action on tech and climate challenges.

France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, has stated that the countries in the EU need to come together and tackle the digital transformation and climate crisis, as they are the most pressing challenges.This was a clear statement of intent as France took over the presidency of the EU council. He described climate related-issues to be the first challenge. Additionally, he urged EU members to introduce clauses within trade agreements and publish a law that ban imports contributing to deforestation.

President Macron further iterated that environmental protection should be a part of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, stating:

“We have to move from words to deeds, transforming our industries, investing in new technologies.”

The Digital Revolution Crisis

The next challenge that Macron stressed was the ‘digital revolution.’ He told the EU that there was a dire need to create a “single digital market so we can create European flagships and champions.”

Macron further stated that the EU needs to ‘simplify its laws’ so that it can “build a single digital market that is huge in scale.” This has been on the French agenda for quite some time.

In June 2020, at the ‘Scale Up Europe’ event, he told people how he hopes for ten tech companies to surface from Europe, valued at €100bn by the year 2030.

On the 20th of January, EU lawmakers voted on the Digital Services Act, which was developed to regulate platforms online regarding algorithms and illegal content.

Then, in December, the EU Parliament voted in favor of this act to promote stricter rules surrounding tech competition.

Macron said in his speech:

“In the next few months, we can see the emergence of a European digital model which simultaneously will provide for free and fair competition between stakeholders and stop platforms killing innovation and making sure they protect citizens.”