German associations welcome creation of digital minister post

Germany’s ICT associations have welcomed the creation of a position for a State Minister for Digital Affairs in Germany’s Federal Chancellery and the appointment of Dorothea Baer of the conservative CSU, the Bavarian-based sister party of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU, to the newly established post.The German association for internet companies Eco approved the government’s “last minute decision” to create a new state minister post to serve as a central coordinating function for digital policy in the German cabinet. Eco called Baer an “experienced web politician” who understands the politics of the net and will hopefully reverse “bad political decisions” like Germany’s recently enacted social media enforcement act, said Eco president Oliver Sueme.

Bitkom, the German association for digital industries, also welcomed Baer’s appointment and stressed the importance of ensuring the new office is equipped with “all the powers and resources” required to successfully coordinate Germany’s digital agenda, including the ability to check legislative initiatives for their compatibility with the digital age.

Germany’s ICT associations also expressed approval at the centre-left Social Democrats’ (SPD) decision to enter into a governing coalition with Chancellor Merkel’s conservative CDU. Bitkom and the federal broadband association Breko called on the two governing parties to act quickly to enact promises in the coalition agreement like nationwide access to gigabit-speed internet by 2025. Bitkom also urged the government to set “more ambitious goals” for digital policies like the expansion of an intelligent transport infrastructure and new data policies that balance protection and innovation.


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