Policy, Law & Regulations

From the Internet industry’s perspective, 2022 was another politically eventful year, marked in particular by geopolitical tensions, inflation and an impending recession in Germany. The central questions around which everything revolved: Just how do we create the necessary conditions for Germany to remain competitive as a business location, and how do we secure the prosperity of society for future generations?

The challenges that Germany is currently facing are closely linked to digital transformation: Digital and innovative technologies will help us in a variety of ways to overcome pressing societal challenges and must therefore be regarded as an essential part of the solution.

The German coalition government, which is now in its second year, set out with ambitious goals in terms of digitalisation, and the coalition agreement shows that digital transformation is taken seriously. However, after a very long exploratory and analysis phase, we currently have a large number of different digital strategies from the ministries on the table – strategies which now need to be urgently implemented.

Unfortunately, a lot of activity does not automatically mean that much gets done: the German federal government and the ministries must not get bogged down in the minutiae. Of course, digitalisation is a cross-cutting issue that essentially affects all of the federal ministries, but a rigorous digital transformation will only succeed if it is not weakened by shared leadership, too many responsibilities and bureaucratic red tape.

The determination for a digital awakening on the part of the new German federal government is clear, but it must finally come into play. In the coming year, it will be a question of how the coalition parties will succeed in implementing a consistent digital policy across all ministries, which should focus in particular on three core issues:

  1. Data economy: Because the sensible linking and smart evaluation of the growing amounts of data is the key to innovation and sustainable growth.
  2. Digitalisation and sustainability: Because Germany and Europe can only achieve their ambitious climate goals through the consistent use of digital technologies.
  3. Digital infrastructures: Because digital infrastructures, especially data centres, are the foundation of the economy’s and society’s digital transformation.

On these and all other digital policy issues, eco will remain close to politics and in close exchange with decision-makers and ministries. To this end, we will continue to actively accompany the political projects at the national and European levels and advocate for the interests of our member companies.

Oliver J. Süme
Chair of the eco Board
eco Board Member for Policy, Law & Regulation