With its first Strategy for International Digital Policy, the Federal Government is ushering in a new era in its commitment to international digital policy. It serves as a joint compass for an active and coherent international digital policy of the Federal Government. At the same time, the strategy positions Germany as a reliable, democratic partner in international digital policy.
The Strategy for International Digital Policy implements a key objective of the Federal Government’s Digital Strategy Germany, which was published in August 2022.
Germany and Europe called on to shape the digital transformation
In a geopolitical environment in which digital technologies increasingly serve as a political factor, Germany and Europe are called on to lead the way. The Federal Government is responding to these changing circumstances with its Strategy for International Digital Policy. As a high-tech hub and globalized economy, Germany is committed to a digital order that promotes democracy and freedom, prosperity, sustainability and resilience.
Guiding principles for a global digital future
The Strategy focuses on nine joint guiding principles. They point the way forward to coordinate international digital policy projects even more closely and to tackle them even more proactively in future:
- We protect fundamental and human rights – online and offline.
- We advocate for a global, open, free and secure Internet.
- We enhance our value-based technology partnerships.
- We promote human-centric and innovation-friendly rules for the digital space.
- We support secure cross-border data flows with trust.
- We actively help to shape international norms and standards.
- We strengthen a secure and sustainable global digital infrastructure.
- We mitigate risks along technology value chains.
- We use digitalization to tackle global challenges.
Result of an inclusive development process
The Strategy is the result of an inclusive consultation process. In several open dialogue formats, over one hundred bodies had a say in its development, including civil society initiatives, digital associations, research establishments and industry representatives. International stakeholders and representatives of international organizations such as the United Nations were also involved.
Starting signal for an ambitious design process
As a long-term compass, the Strategy puts in place an ambitious yet flexible framework to shape Germany’s international digital policy for the future. It is both a launchpad and the groundwork for an ongoing process, in which each government department will actively drive forward the implementation of the Strategy.
As the lead ministry for international digital policy, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport will further enhance its commitment in the course of implementing the strategy. For example, the Ministry will further expand its bilateral digital dialogues with African countries. Furthermore, an additional €1.5 million has been earmarked in the 2024 budget for even closer stakeholder participation by the Ministry as part of the strategy process – a doubling of the funds available for this purpose. The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport is also planning to create a position at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, where consultations on the United Nations Global Digital Compact will begin on 12 February 2024.