[Fsfe-ie] Charlie McCreevy

Seth Johnson seth.johnson at realmeasures.dyndns.org
Sun Aug 15 01:10:45 CEST 2004

"Teresa Hackett [default]" wrote:
> One of the lowest rates of corporation tax in Europe (and a great source of
> annoyance to Germany and France) has apparantly been one of the drivers for
> the economic upturn.
> I haven't been back in Ireland long enough to know a lot about McCreevy, but
> the reports over the last few days have described him as "unorthodox",
> "maverick", "having a personality" and willing to go against the tide if he
> is committed to something. This could work in our favour. And he is
> apparantly respected in Europe because of his policies.
> As a former finance minister, I guess that he would need to be convinced of
> the economic arguments against software patents.  So if we got some good
> people to speak to him, in Brussels or in Kildare, maybe he could be
> persuaded and he might not feel obliged to stick to the original Council
> decision, especially if the Netherlands, who now hold the Presidency, have
> also changed their minds.
> He was also described on RTE as being of the "cute hoor" branch of Irish
> politics-I confess I'm not sure exactly what this means ;-)

He gives lots of tax breaks and credits and exemptions on duties to
technology companies.

I think there's a course of action on software patents at the following
link, one that McCreevy is intimately involved in.

This is a meeting setting up performance indicators while talking about
"improving the flow of funding for innovative enterprises and new
entrepreneurs to foster employment" and "facilitating the creation of
innovative companies and taking full advantage of R&D effort."

I think we should start something where we get economic and political
analysts to comment on the uncritical use of the number of patents as an
indicator of innovation and research.  We can target that analysis to

These indicators are used by somebody in government.  Who?  Whatever they
use them for, can be subject to incisive criticism.

The outcome would be to show how software patents stifle innovation, and
perhaps that this indicator is a false indicator that only shows that
they've encouraged foreign investment in a way that stifles innovation.

See below.


> (At the following link, I believe we observe McCreevy attending an Ecofin meeting in 2000 setting up the Nice Treaty, which the Irish public rejected by a referendum that was subsequently overridden.  They list a set of performance indicators here, which includes a simple item: patents under "Innovation and Research.")
> > http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ecofin/ACF717B.htm
> 2301st Council meeting
> – ECOFIN –
> Brussels, 7 November 2000
> President : Mr Laurent FABIUS
> Minister for Economic Affairs, Finance and Industry of the French Republic
> < SNIP >
> The importance of significantly improving the flow of funding for innovative enterprises and new entrepreneurs to foster employment was highlighted in the conclusions of the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000, which asked "the Council and the Commission to report by the end of 2000 on the ongoing review of EIB and EIF financial instruments in order to redirect funding towards support for business start-ups, high-tech firms and micro-enterprises, as well as other risk-capital initiatives proposed by the EIB".
> The Council welcomes the Commission's communication on review of Community financial instruments for enterprises, including the steps envisaged to improve coordination, and supports the need to adapt the Community financial instruments in line with the new knowledge based economy.
> The Council estimates that there is a need to stimulate the new knowledge based economy and the entrepreneurial spirit in the European Union by facilitating the creation of innovative companies and taking full advantage of R&D effort. In particular, the Council notes that there still remains a noticeable financing gap for very early stage technology-based companies. Therefore the Council considers that, within the present budgetary framework, Community instruments should be refocused on earlier phases in the innovation cycle, addressing identifiable market failures.
> < SNIP >
> The Council discussed a draft report prepared by the Economic Policy Committee on structural performance indicators. This report had been requested by the Lisbon European Council and it took account of a Commission communication on the same subject. The purpose of these indicators is to be able to assess progress made in economic and social reforms more objectively in the four priority areas developed in Lisbon, namely employment, innovation, economic reform and social cohesion. The report also contains general indicators on the economic context.
> As suggested by the Commission, the Council agreed on a global list of indicators which were common to the Council and the Commission. This list did not pre-empt the, no doubt shorter, list of indicators which would be taken to illustrate the Commission's synthesis report to the Stockholm European Council.
> At the close of the discussions the Council decided to submit the report to the Nice European Council together with a note from the Presidency summarising the comments made by the delegations on the number and the type of indicators.
> These structural indicators are listed in Annex.
> < SNIP >
> (I've snipped the indicators, except under Innovation and Research.  It appears that they are simply taking the number of patents as an direct indicator!)
> New list of INDICATORS
> General economic background indicators
> List of 28 indicators
> I. Employment
> II. Innovation and research
>         1. Public expenditure on education
>         2. R&D expenditure
>         3. ICT expenditure
>         4. Level of Internet access
>         5. Patents
>         6. Exports of high-technology products
>         7. Venture capital
> III. Economic Reform
> IV. Social Cohesion


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