Stakeholder forum on Germany's Strategy for International Digital Policy

General

On 17 November 2023, the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) hosted another Stakeholder Forum International Digital Policy. The aim was to exchange views on BMDV's draft of Germany’s Strategy for International Digital Policy. Representatives from more than 60 organisations from business, science, civil society and the technical community took part in the virtual event.

The stakeholder forum took place in German and in an online format. © Digital Dialogues-GIZ

With the Strategy for International Digital Policy, BMDV is developing the future framework for Germany's international digital policy in close coordination with other federal ministries. The perspectives of interested stakeholders are also included in the development process: In February and May 2023, BMDV invited representatives from German and international businesses, academia, civil society organisations and the technical community to stakeholder forums.

At the stakeholder forum on 17 November, participants had the opportunity to discuss BMDV's draft of the strategy and its guiding principles in particular. The draft was made available for download prior to the event. You can view the draft here (German version only). The following questions led the discussion:

  • Which aspects should be considered in the further development of the guiding principles?
  • How can measures or initiatives support the implementation of the guiding principles?

Dr Irina Soeffky, head of the subdivision "National, European and International Digital Policy" at BMDV, moderated the discussion.

Stakeholders' comments on the draft strategy

The participants had the opportunity to emphasise aspects that were important to them and propose measures for implementation. Among other things, they highlighted the importance of a human-centric and inclusive approach to shaping digitalisation. They also noted that the strategy should focus on active engagement in established international forums and initiatives on digital policy.

Regarding international cooperation, especially in relation to the development and expansion of digital infrastructure, the stakeholders stressed the role of net neutrality. They also drew attention to the need to further develop instruments for international cooperation on digital transformation. They also drew attention to regulation and standards, which play a central role to enable trustworthy data flows.

Environmental and climate policy issues such as the recycling of critical resources and dealing with the high energy requirements of digital technologies were also addressed. According to the participants, these aspects are already mentioned in the strategy and should be explored further in the future.

Finally, Dr Soeffky provided information on the next steps towards finalising the strategy. The stakeholders shared great interest to be further involved in the design of concrete measures after the publication of the strategy in 2024.

Next steps in the development of the Strategy for International Digital Policy

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports the stakeholder engagement process on behalf of BMDV. Beside the consultation events, GIZ also welcomes your comments and wishes for the strategy by e-mail (forum-digitalpolitik@giz.de).

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