Kick-off: Stakeholder Forum International Digital Policy

General

The German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) has launched the stakeholder participation process for Germany's strategy on international digital policy. Ben Brake, Director General Digital and Data Policy at BMDV, invited to the first Stakeholder Forum International Digital Policy on 23 February. It took place in German.

BMDV asked for thematic priorities of the stakeholders (event in German). © Digital Dialogues-GIZ

With its new Digital Strategy, the German government has set itself the goal of developing a strategy for international digital policy. BMDV is responsible for its drafting. According to Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, the strategy strives to be the guideline for a strong and coherent international digital policy of the German government.

In the development process, it is important to BMDV to involve representatives from civil society, academia and business. Their perspectives should help to shape the strategy in a practical and future-oriented way. BMDV plans to focus on those topics that most urgently need to be addressed internationally for a successful digital transformation.

Consultation of stakeholders from civil society, business and academia

In order to consult the stakeholders, BMDV established the Stakeholder Forum International Digital Policy. After a public invitation, more than 170 participants from a wide range of sectors joined in. The broad participation underlines the importance of the digital transformation and international cooperation for our society. The participants took the opportunity to point out issues that the German government should pay special attention to in drafting its strategy for international digital policy.

Among other issues, it was important to the stakeholders to preserve and promote democratic values such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the digital space. It was also emphasised that participatory processes and the rights of consumers should be strengthened. The Federal Government was asked to consolidate digital sovereignty by reducing digital dependencies as well as to counteract digital fragmentation. An independent and robust digital infrastructure and digital public goods play a major role here.

The broad participation reflects a high level of interest in international digital policy. © Digital Dialogues-GIZ

For the digital transformation of the economy, an internationally harmonised legal framework for data exchange is of great importance to the stakeholders. The Federal Government was called upon to actively shape international digital trade. The strategic positioning in international standardisation plays an overriding role in all these topics.

Last but not least, the participants highlighted linking the digital transformation with sustainability and climate goals. The German government should work to sustainably advance the 2030 Agenda by actively promoting the twin transition (green and digital transformation).

Next steps in the development of the international digital strategy

The Stakeholder Forum International Digital Policy is organised by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of BMDV. GIZ will organise further consultation rounds. The aim is to ensure that the strategy builds on strong technical expertise, is guided by economic rationality and exemplifies the principles of a people-centred digital transformation.

In addition to the consultation rounds, GIZ also welcomes your thematic priorities, comments and requests for the strategy by email (forum-digitalpolitik@giz.de).

BMDV will develop the international digital strategy on the basis of the stakeholder feedback together with all departments of the Federal Government. The strategy is to be published by the end of 2023. Common principles will ensure a coherent policy of the German government, which the ministries will implement in their respective areas of responsibility.

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