Category Archives: Policy and Law

Digital Minister (m/f) Wanted: Industry Associations Launch a Petition

Associations of the digital industry fear a stagnation of digital policy under the German “grand coalition.” To counteract such a deadlock, a petition launched on the initiative of the Federal Association of German Startups, available under digitalministerium.org, calls on the party leaders of the Christian Democrats/Christian Socialists and the Social Democrats to appoint a digital minister. Industry associations, civil society organizations, and large sections of the public have criticized the absence of plans of the prospective new coalition to bundle digital competencies within a single authority. eco - Association of the Internet Industry also supports this petition. Continue reading

eco Criticizes German Coalition Agreement: Digital Policy Modifications Rather Than An Overall Visionary Concept

The German coalition agreement between the CDU/CSU and the SPD presented this week incorporates, in the view of eco – Association of the Internet Industry, some important digital policy decisions which the German federal government had failed to make in the last legislative term. However, there is still no discernible political vision for digital transformation in Germany. “We can appreciate that the coalition parties have recognized the shortcomings of the past four years in many fundamental areas of digital policy and that they want to rectify them accordingly – for example, in the areas of digital education and research and the expansion of digital infrastructures,” says Chair of the eco Board, Oliver Süme. The Association nonetheless regrets that a forward-looking overall concept for shaping the digital transformation in Germany is still not in evidence. In particular, the Association is disappointed that there are no plans to finally assign the topic of digitalization the institutionally appropriate status that it deserves through providing it with its own department. “The fact that, in 2018 we are to once again have a home ministry, but still no digital ministry, is highly lamentable and does not exactly testify to the visionary power of the future federal government.” Continue reading

eco on “GroKo” Grand Coalition Plans for the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG): "Enhancements Will Not Suffice!"

Since the entry into force of the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) at the beginning of the year, criticism of the law has intensified: the CSU, the FDP, Die Linke (The Left) and Die Grünen (The Greens) are calling for the new regulation to be abolished. EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has also criticized the law. The CDU/CSU and the SPD, however, remain committed to the NetzDG: When the Grand Coalition comes into being, the law is to remain in place and is to be enhanced in so far as possible. Continue reading

eco Urges the Coalition Partners to Adopt a Measured Approach to Market-Driven, Technology-Neutral Broadband Expansion

Within the framework of the coalition negotiations for a new German federal government, eco – Association of the Internet Industry calls on the negotiating parties to exercise measured judgment when it comes to the topic of expanding broadband coverage. The association welcomes the declared commitment of the negotiating parties to the rigorous promotion of the Gigabit Society. This reflects a demand which has also been stipulated in eco's Internet Policy Agenda, with the Association of the Internet Industry regarding nationwide broadband expansion in Germany as the most important infrastructure project for the coming years. Broadband Internet creates the basis for innovation and modern services and will ensure the future viability and attractiveness of Germany as an industry location. Continue reading

eco New Year’s Reception: SPD Secretary General Calls for “Digital Breakthrough”

Speaking yesterday at the eco New Year's reception about the ongoing coalition negotiations, the Secretary General of the SPD Lars Klingbeil called for a digital breakthrough for Germany: "Digitalization is changing all areas of life. Digital policy must therefore be social policy. It is a question of how we will live and work in the future. We must convert technical progress into social progress – that is the most important task of our time. The breakthrough must happen now." Continue reading