The Federal Cabinet today adopted the legislative report on the Digital Agenda which has been submitted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. In this report, the Federal Government states that it considers its digital policy to have been a success. When the Federal Government launched its Digital Agenda three years ago, it defined milestones in digital policy surrounding three core objectives: growth and employment; access and inclusion; and confidence and security. It has been possible to achieve progress in all action areas.
Digital change is one of the key challenges to be addressed by industry, academia, society and government. The Federal Government is proactively supporting this structural change by implementing the Digital Agenda and is establishing a regulatory framework for living, learning, working and economic activity in the digital world to ensure that everyone is included in digital change.
The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Brigitte Zypries, said:
By launching the Digital Agenda, we have made important progress in terms of the digital transformation of the German economy. Companies that do not take digitalization seriously will not survive on the market. For this reason, we have a wide range of information for industry, for instance centres of excellence throughout Germany for small and medium-sized enterprises and the "Mittelstand Digital" financial assistance scheme. Germany has become a lead provider of technology in the sphere of Industry 4.0. The Industry 4.0 platform, with over 300 players, is now one of the largest and most successful networks in the world for supporting the digital transformation of goods producing companies and also advancing the issue internationally. With the 9th re-enactment of the Act against Restraints on Competition, we have adapted the regulatory framework for competition to the challenges of the digitalized economy. We have also continuously improved the conditions for start-ups and young entrepreneurs. The abolition of roaming charges and more public WiFi are good news for consumers. We must keep at it if we want to play an active part in shaping the digital revolution. With the 'Digital Strategy for 2025' and the 'Digital Platforms White Paper', we have set out what the framework for this could look like. Because, like the analogue world, the digital world also needs a regulatory policy if it is to enable growth, innovation, competition and inclusion.
The Federal Government can be proud of what it has achieved in the past four years within the scope of the Digital Agenda,
said the Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière.
By means of numerous measures and initiatives, we have progressed the digital revolution positively for our country and its people, while at the same time effectively containing risks. But we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. The spread of digital technology will also be a key issue in the next parliamentary term. The Federal Interior Ministry is well prepared for this.
The Federal Ministry of the Interior has taken numerous measures to strengthen cyber protection and cyber security. For instance, the IT Security Act, which entered into force at the end of July 2015, introduced minimum cyber security standards for operators of critical infrastructures and an obligation to report critical IT security incidents to the Federal Office for Information Security. In addition the 2016 Cyber Security Strategy for Germany created a cross-departmental strategic framework for all ongoing and future measures of the Federal Government in the sphere of cyber security. The guiding principle of the new strategy is to ensure that Germany remains able to act and preserves its sovereignty in the digital era.
The Federal Minister of Transport, Alexander Dobrindt, said:
The Digital Agenda is a success. We are laying the foundations that will ensure that Germany continues to lead the way in a digitalized world. Our Federal Government Programme for the roll-out of fibre optic is connecting poorly served regions to the high-speed Internet. Today, Germany has the most dynamic pace of broadband deployment in the whole of Europe. Our objective is to join forces with the industry and invest 100 billion euros in the roll-out of gigabit networks over the period to 2023, thereby funding not only the deployment of fibre optic but also the development and roll-out of the next mobile communications standard (5G). At the same time, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is paving the way for the greatest mobility revolution since the invention of the motor car: automated and connected driving. We have launched a research programme for digital test beds and established the Digital Motorway Test Bed on the A 9. This is the first intelligent and fully digitalized road in the world. It will now be followed by several city-centre test beds throughout Germany. Moreover, we have adopted the most modern road traffic law in the world. For the first time, humans and computers will be on an equal footing in cars. To fund mobility start-ups, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is investing 100 million euros in the early development of digital innovations in the sphere of mobility. Thanks to our measures, Germany is well equipped to meet the next wave of the digital revolution with the connectivity of all things, a massive growth in the amount of data and new key technologies. Today, we are the undisputed digital powerhouse of Europe.
As a key instrument of the Digital Agenda, the National IT Summit (renamed Digital Summit this year) focuses on the action areas of the Digital Agenda, thereby strengthening the systematic dialogue with industry, academia and civil society and extending it to cover all fields of the digital revolution. At the Digital Summit to be held in Ludwigshafen on 12/13 June, the progress made by the Digital Agenda and the future challenges of the digital transformation are to be discussed in depth with leading stakeholders from industry, academia and government.
Press conference on the Digital Agenda with Federal Minister Dobrindt.
More information on the Digital Agenda can be found at www.digitale-agenda.de