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The Federal Cabinet today adopted the Strategy for International Digital Policy of the Federal Government submitted by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport.

The Strategy provides a framework for the Federal Government’s proactive international digital policy, focusing on the protection of human rights and access to a free Internet without censorship. The Federal Government aims to champion these values in all international bodies.

Federal Minister for Digital Dr Volker Wissing:

The free Internet is in danger. More and more often, authoritarian states are restricting access to the Internet to censor unfavourable opinions and prevent citizens from retrieving information. Blocking access to the Internet is an attack on human rights. We will not stand idly by and watch this happen. The Internet thrives on protected communication and uncensored access to information. We want to make a concerted effort to protect the free Internet and take a firm stance against censorship and access blocks worldwide. The Federal Government Strategy submitted by my Ministry is an appeal for democracy and freedom, prosperity, sustainability and resilience in the global digital age. All Cabinet members are committed to following the course set by this Strategy as a compass.

In a geopolitical environment in which digital technologies increasingly serve as a political factor, Germany and Europe are called on to lead the way. Within a span of just a few decades, the Internet has connected almost five billion users. People worldwide can seamlessly exchange information, share ideas and interact with one another. At the same time, authoritarian states are increasingly blocking access to the Internet in order to cover up their own human rights violations, influence elections or censor unfavourable opinions. The Federal Government is responding to these changing circumstances with its Strategy for International Digital Policy. The vision is a global digital order that promotes democracy and freedom, prosperity, sustainability and resilience.

The Strategy focuses on nine joint guiding principles. With it, the Federal Government has laid a strong foundation for its commitment to a free, open Internet. The new Strategy relies on technology partnerships with democratic and like-minded partners. The Federal Government will champion human-centric and innovation-friendly rules for the digital space in international organizations like the United Nations, as well as at G7 and G20 levels. The Strategy also addresses the potential of the digital transformation for tackling global challenges like climate change.

It is the product of an inclusive consultation process. In several open dialogue formats, over one hundred bodies had a say in the development of the Strategy, 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.

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, which will continue to involve stakeholders closely. Consultations on the United Nations Global Digital Compact start as early as 12 February 2024. Germany will base its input for these talks on the principles of the Strategy.

The Strategy for International Digital Policy implements a key objective of the Federal Government’s Digital Strategy.

Die neue Strategie finden Sie hier.

The English version of the Strategy for International Digital Policy of the Federal Government is available here.

Trouvez la version française de la Stratégie pour la Politique Numérique Internationale du Gouvernement Fédéral ici.