Created under Nicolas Sarkozy, the CNN (Conseil National du Numérique, roughly the National Digital Council), was initially conceived as a body that would give advice and recommendations favoring the development of the internet sector in France. Seeing this initial remit as too limited in scope, the new government decided to broaden the mission of the CNN to focus on all issues relating to digital technology in France. Some of the activities the CNN will tackle include examining how to the government can address net neutrality, offering feedback on the government’s digital agenda/roadmap, and suggesting ways to address the never-ending internet tax debates. The council will meet once a month and will also regularly meet with and solicit input from elected officials, the business community, and the general public.
The Nouvel Observateur published the list of the new members of the “CNN 2.0”, which will have 30 members who will serve for a 3 year renewable term. The council will be presided over by Benoît Thieulin, director of the digital agency, La Netscouade. The members are actually a good cross-section of the key parts of France’s technology ecosystem including entrepreneurs, big business, venture capital and finance, research/academia, and media (full list here). We would’ve like to have seen a couple more up-and-coming entrepreneurs on the list, but there are some solid names there that will undoubtedly do a great job of representing the entrpreneur’s point-of-view. Some of the more well-known names that we’ve interviewed and written about on the Rude Baguette include Marie Ekeland, co-President of France Digitale and partner at Elaia Partners, Tariq Krim, CEO of Jolicloud, Jean-Baptiste Rudelle, President of Criteo, and Tristan Nitot, President of Mozilla Europe. As we all know, France probably has too many councils, associations, groups, etc representing it’s tech sector. However, the CNN at least is in a position to have a bit more influence over the government. Hopefully, having so many members who play an integral role in developing France’s entrepreneurial and tech ecosystem will encourage the government to come up with a better approach to helping France’s digital economy flourish.