German Stakeholder Consultations 2022/23 for the International Digital Dialogues

General

On 24 January, the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) hosted German stakeholder consultations for the International Digital Dialogues, in Berlin and online. The consultations provided an opportunity for German stakeholders to share their interests and discuss current topics, challenges and ideas for activities within the International Digital Dialogues.

DG Brake (BMDV) opened the consultation meetings. © Gerhard Kassner / BMDV

BMDV holds annual stakeholder consultations to ensure that political approaches and solutions for the digital transformation target current needs and make good social and economic sense.

Organised by the Secretariat for the International Digital Dialogues, around 90 representatives from the business community, academia and civil society met with BMDV representatives at Allianz Forum Berlin or participated digitally.

The interactive consultations were structured according to regions and focused on the Digital Dialogues’ partner countries India, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico. On site, the event was accompanied by the opportunity to exchange and network over lunch and coffee.

Presentation of the German Digital Strategy

Benjamin Brake, Director General Digital and Data Policy at BMDV, welcomed all participants and stressed the importance of multi-stakeholder engagement in digital policy issues.

Dr Ann-Christin Soekadar, Head of Division for International Digital Policy, G7 and G20, then presented Germany’s new national Digital Strategy. The strategy lines out three core action areas: (1) A connected and digitally sovereign society, (2) an innovative economy, work, science and research as well as (3) a digital state. Dr Soekadar highlighted the importance of international engagement in all these areas, aiming to enable an open, free and secure internet globally, the digital sovereignty of Germany and its partner countries as well as global digital inclusion.

Dr Soekadar (BMDV) presented the German Digital Strategy. © Gerhard Kassner / BMDV

Results of the Stakeholder Survey

To dive deeper into possible topics for discussion in the regional meetings, Torge Wolters, Head of GIZ’s support team to the International Digital Dialogues, presented the results of a recent survey amongst stakeholders. It was conducted to learn about priorities of the German digital community.

Not surprisingly, issues related to Industrie 4.0, platform economy as well as data collection and analysis were identified as important business areas to virtually all survey participants. The issues of cybersecurity, standardisation and data protection were deemed most pressing.

An equally high interest was shown in the implementation of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. Asked about relevant areas for public engagement, sustainability in digitalisation as well as digital skills development came out on top of the list.

Regional consultations for the Digital Dialogues with India and Indonesia as well as Brazil and Mexico

The stakeholders openly exchanged on their priority topics. © Gerhard Kassner / BMDV

During the regional meetings, the GIZ teams gave an overview of current digital policy developments in the countries and summarised the developments in the respective Digital Dialogues. The floor was then opened for an open discussion, with a wide variety of stakeholders actively exchanging about priority topics and cooperation activities.

A digital whiteboard was used throughout the day to gather all input provided by the stakeholders. The results will provide guidance to BMDV in its discussions with partner ministries of the Digital Dialogues and help to jointly shape international digital policy.

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