Finnegan's Take

Archives for innovation

The draft EU budget is a win for Geoghegan-Quinn but it won’t make her popular at home. The EU’s budget has been the subject of much wrangling of late, with the usual tug-of-war between interest groups from industry, agriculture and the rest. Ireland’s European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who is responsible for research, innovation and science,… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

The EU’s clinical trials directive has been a catastrophe but Brussels is keen to make amends “Arguably the most criticised piece of legislation” the EU has ever produced on medicines. That’s how the European Commission describes its own law on clinical trials, drafted a decade ago in an effort to streamline medical research in Europe.… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

EU governments plan to press ahead on a single patent without agreement of all member states – a sign of things to come? One result of Europe’s economic crisis is the newfound willingness to abandon the softly-softly approach to consensus decision making. A microcosm of this phenomenon can be seen in efforts to agree a… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

They bottled it: EU leaders were due to talk about ways to improve Europe’s hotpotch intellectual property regime on Friday but thought better of it. The item was put on the afternoon agenda because industry ministers had decided before Christmas on the way forward. The trouble was that their plan for ‘enhanced cooperation’ means most… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Patent disaster

I despair. After decades of promising to fix Europe’s broken patent system, it seemed like a breakthrough was on the horizon. Political momentum was gathering. The Belgian Presidency, experienced in navigating legal and linguistic problems, promised to make it a priority. The European Commission says an affordable, streamlined patent regime is fundamental to long-term prosperity.… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

EU Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn has promised to relinquish her Irish government pensions worth around €108,000 while she serves in her €243,000 a year Brussels post. MGQ has been at the centre of a blistering public debate in Ireland where she has served in several ministerial positions over whether she should be drawing a state pension… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

MGQ’s influence within the Commission is growing EU Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is expanding her influence in the College of Commissioners by convening two subgroups: on innovation and research. She will chair both, elevating herself to something of a senior commissioner. The innovation subgroup is an official effort by Barroso to pull together various strands… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

MGQ ♥ Tajani 4EVA

The Commissioners for Innovation and Industry have been saying the kindest of things about one another (through gritted teeth) Was it just me or were Commissioner Maire Geogeghan-Quinn and Antonio Tajani overdoing the mutual appreciation at their joint press conference on Wednesday? They each seemed at great pains to say how well they get on… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

A troubling thought: are the pro-innovation policy wonks talking to the cost-containment pencil pushers? Doing the rounds of innovation conferences in Brussels, it’s clear that a huge section of the EU’s political and industry machinery is convinced we need to be more innovative. The logic will be familiar to most: we can’t compete with Asia’s… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan

Plans to publish a European Innovation Act ahead of the spring meeting of EU leaders are on hold. The new innovation strategy is now more likely to be published this summer. In the meantime, the new European Commissioners – particularly those responsible for industry and innovation – are trying to redraw lines of responsibility which… » read more

Posted by Gary Finnegan