Economy: Hi-tech Europe has no reason to blush
17 July 2012
“Five reasons to believe (once more) in Europe” – An optimistic Le Monde wants to prove that “Europe is not a continent in distress, a tragic commentator on its own decline.” In its Economy supplement the French daily notes that –
The euro crisis and the wave of austerity plans that accompany it dull and mask the reality of the power of a continent with unique advantages [...] It’s not just in Silicon Valley or Asia where innovation is to be found. Of the 30 most innovative countries in the world, 20 are European.
European brains, Le Monde reports, are “a sought-after species,” and that continental workforce is a workforce of “quality” because it “benefits from a very specific cultural broth” –
To innovate – or almost – it is sufficient to contrast these differences. That is the purpose of the Erasmus mobility program (...), which gets subsidies from Brussels for research (...). Of course, there is no equivalent to Harvard between the Atlantic and the Urals. But, in the absence of loads of cash, the network of higher education institutions is very dense. And young people can study here for very little money compared to Asia and the United States.
[...] The European Union combines unique strengths, but today those strengths are under threat. Will it know how to use them to overcome the crisis?