In the current budget negotiations of the German federal government, the planned digital budget could also fall victim to cuts. eco – Association of the Internet Industry expressly warns against cutting funds for the implementation of digitalisation plans and projects.
eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme comments:
“It should equally be clear to the German traffic light coalition that the digital awakening requires a corresponding budget. The digital policy measures planned by the German federal government naturally cost money. If the traffic light coalition itself now cancels the digital budget that was set out in the coalition agreement and that has been promised for a long time, this is not a new departure, but a brake on Germany as a digital location.
“The fact is that a strong ministry for digitalisation with creative power would need an appropriate budget that could be deployed flexibly across all departments. This is even more important if digitalisation is approached as a cross-cutting task. A digital minister who has no budget to support projects other than his own – and who only gets to hope that the other ministries will have their budgets approved before the budget committee – loses the ability to shape the future and cannot provide any impetus for digitalisation.
“In view of the current crises, which are also hampering economic growth in Germany, at first glance it may seem understandable that the traffic light coalition is discussing cuts to the federal budget. However, making cuts in digitalisation leads to a home-grown downward spiral in digital policy: For a successful transformation of the economy and society, we need accelerated digitalisation.
“This is precisely where investments are needed to guarantee innovation, economic growth and social prosperity now and in the coming decades. Especially in future fields such as AI, we will otherwise lose touch with technological developments and jeopardise Germany’s competitiveness. Above all in challenging times, the German federal government should press ahead with the structural change that is so urgently needed. We need the digital awakening – the traffic light coalition must switch to green for the digital budget.”