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Introducing the German Federal Government’s Strategy for International Digital Policy

By Guest Writer on May 1, 2024

German International Digital Policy

The global digital age opens up tremendous opportunities – and harbours challenges for all actors.

The political and economic power as well as the military capabilities of states increasingly depend on their ability to access, use and evolve digital technologies. Global and connected digital technologies also require new forms of international cooperation and governance.

As a result, the German Federal Government is pursuing an active and coherent international digital policy. We consider international digital policy a strategic field of action in safeguarding our interests and promoting our values.

Our international digital policy dovetails closely with our foreign, security, defence, economic, development, climate, environmental and social policy goals. Moreover, the European Union (EU) is a key framework and multiplier for our international digital policy goals.

We, as the German Federal Government, are working towards a global digital order that promotes democracy and freedom, prosperity as well as sustainability and resilience. To this end, we have agreed on the following common principles to guide our actions:

  1. We protect fundamental and human rights – online and offline.
  2. We advocate for a global, open, free and secure Internet.
  3. We enhance value-based technology partnerships.
  4. We promote human-centric and innovation- friendly rules for the digital space.
  5. We support secure cross-border data flows with trust.
  6. We actively help to shape international standards.
  7. We strengthen a secure and sustainable global digital infrastructure.
  8. We mitigate risks along technology value chains.
  9. We use digitalization to tackle global challenges.

The Strategy for International Digital Policy frames the German Federal Government’s efforts in international digital policy. It dovetails with and ties into our ambitious technology policy targets as documented in particular in the Digital Strategy, Data Strategy, AI Strategy, Strategy on Climate Foreign Policy, Gigabit Strategy, Skilled Labour Strategy, Space Strategy, Strategy for the Future and the German Sustainable Development Strategy as well as other department-specific strategies.

This strategy also complements Germany’s international positioning, which is set out in the Cyber Security Strategy and the China Strategy, among others. It is in line with our understanding of integrated security in the National Security Strategy, with the United Nations 2030 Agenda as a guideline for shaping the global digital transformation in a sustainable way and with the goals for the protection of human rights in the digital transformation set out in the Federal Government’s Human Rights Action Plan.

The present strategy is the prelude to and foundation of a stronger commitment to international digital policy. We want to work together even more closely at all levels of the Federal Government, recognize the need for political action at earlier stages and continue to involve stakeholders intensively in the planning and implementation of our international digital policy.

A lightly edited synopsis of the Strategy for International Digital Policy. The headline image is ChatGPT’s interpretation of the German Federal Government’s Strategy for International Digital Policy showcasing a powerful vision of digital innovation and global unity. The artwork features symbolic representations of security, transparency, and cooperation, highlighted by digital technology and international symbols, creating a dynamic scene filled with optimism for a connected and inclusive digital future.

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