04.05.2021

“German Ministry for Digitalisation Long Overdue” – eco Association Welcomes Public Administration Discussion Paper

Today, the German Next association – comprised primarily of representatives of the public administration – published a discussion paper on the configuration of a Ministry for Digitalisation in the coming legislative term. eco – Association of the Internet Industry welcomes the fact that it has not only identified acute problems and challenges, but also proposes concrete approaches for the creation of a Ministry for Digitalisation.

Oliver Süme, Chair of the eco Board, comments:

“Having a Ministry for Digitalisation, one that would put an end to the digital policy inconsistencies of the past years and instead promote a future-oriented Internet policy, is a development that is long overdue. It is very encouraging that numerous digital experts from the public administration have now recognised this.”

Süme also positively endorses the discussion paper’s call for stronger dovetailing of federal and state governments when it comes to digitalisation topics. Süme: “Instead of wrangling over who’s responsible for what, what we ultimately need is close networking in order to take on large-scale digital projects such as school clouds and health apps quickly and in their entirety. Experience shows that there is still a lot of catching up to do, especially in the federal states.”

eco calls for a digital steering committee in the German Bundestag

According to Süme, the paper also shows which fundamental questions arise regarding the establishment of a Ministry for Digitalisation – from a purely administrative ministry for federal IT, to a super ministry that would also deal with consumer protection issues and responsibility for network operations and services.

In his own position statement, Süme had already previously outlined central aspects for a Ministry for Digitalisation. In addition to new level of organisation at government level, eco’s Chair also calls for the establishment of a digital steering committee in the German Bundestag. Süme: “Politicians must quickly find answers here and already set the course for the establishment of such a house and its administrative staff in this legislative term.”

The Vote for Digital 2021: Core demands and agenda for the 2021 Bundestag elections

In its new Internet Policy Agenda, the Internet industry association also calls for the establishment of a digital ministry. In addition to 20 core demands for the 2021 federal election, eco has formulated propositions and recommendations for action for a modern Internet policy in an extended German-language version of the agenda.

eco on Planned Reform of the German Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG): “Social networks confronted anew with great legal uncertainty”