Germany aims low with digital strategy to propel it into EU top ten – POLITICO

Germany is new digital strategy aims to propel the country into the top ten best digital performers in Europe by 2025, a goal some say isn’t ambitious enough.

Germany is currently ranked 13th in the European Commission’s ranking Digital Economy and Society Indexbehind France in the ranking of countries’ performance in terms of Internet access, digital skills and online public services.

The goal is “a modest three-seater upgrade” which “would still mean a midfield position,” Achim Berg, head of German tech lobby Bitkom, said in a press release.

Minister of Digital Volker Wissing defended his cautious aims in a newspaper interview shortly before the strategy was adopted on Wednesday, saying it was best not to dream of flying taxis and “end up forgetting how many concrete things you forgot to address.”

Wissing made significant changes to the strategy to add specific objectives following criticism that early drafts were too vague.

For the tech industry, many of the strategy’s mandatory goals are still unclear and “therefore not verifiable,” Berg said.

“Germany must first do its most urgent homework before it can dream of the Premier League again,” said Stefan Heumann, director of the New Accountability Foundation thinking group.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz stress need to go big last monday in prague. Although he didn’t mention flying cars, he said “we need to think big – and include outer space as well.” To really improve Europe’s broadband internet, ‘megaconstellations’, global satellite networks, are needed.

None of Scholz’s visions find their way into the strategy, however, only the more modest goal of equipping half of all households with fiber-optic internet access by the end of 2025.

Hildegard Müller, chairwoman of the Association of the German Automotive Industry, said it was “completely unclear” how the digital strategy will be funded from next year. The government has yet to say how much it will allocate to digitization efforts.

Wissing told the newspaper he was “not worried about funding” and would do “whatever it takes” to secure the necessary funding.

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