DIGITAL SME welcomes “Digital Sovereignty as a Central Theme” for Germany’s EU Council Presidency

  • Germany is starting its presidency of the EU Council today under the motto “Together for Europe’s recovery”

  • With a prominent spot in Germany’s programme for the council presidency, digital sovereignty is set to be a guiding theme in Europe’s digital policy

  • DIGITAL SME calls for using crisis funds for the sustainable digitalisation of Europe’s economy

Berlin/Brussel, 1 July 2020. Today, Germany takes over the presidency of the European Council from Croatia. Under the motto “Together for Europe’s recovery”, the German presidency will strive to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital transformation is poised to be an important part of these mitigation efforts.

Sustainable digitalisation, not just “short-term purchases”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that digitalisation is happening faster than we thought. Digital Solutions help our economy to get back on its feet. Here, investments can set the course for sustainable digital transformation”, remarked DIGITAL SME President Dr Oliver Grün in a first statement on the start of his home country’s Council presidency. “The current wave of digitalisation is a double-edged sword. We have to make sure that measures aimed at supporting digital transformation do so in a sustainable way—avoiding a path where investments and programmes to support digitalisation are only used for short-term purchases. Recovery measures should be used for the sustainable digital transformation of our companies.”

Digital Sovereignty as a “central theme” of Germany’s programme

In addition to the sustainability of digital investments, digital sovereignty will play a decisive role in Germany’s Council presidency. “We want to establish digital sovereignty as a central theme in Europe’s digital policy”, the programme reads. DIGITAL SME welcomes this focus. “We have long been concerned about the loss of digital sovereignty in Europe. Now we must ensure that the money for crisis recovery are not only spent on sustainably, but that they flow back to Europe’s own economy and its digital solutions. European digital enterprises—especially SMEs—have the systemic power to comprehensively digitalise the economy. We should not just hand our crisis-recovery funds and our data over to the international competition”, warns Dr Grün. “Germany can ‘do digital’. And so can Europe! Let’s turn the crisis around.”

You can read more about our policy positions, including our recent paper about a recovery strategy for Europe here.