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The Positions of the Parties on Digitization

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 | Gadgets

The fact that digitization is one of the key challenges for society and the economy has now begun. In the Bundestag election campaign, however, the topic hardly played a role. How do the parties position themselves for digitization? HORIZONT Online has looked at the election programs of the relevant parties and presents their plans for the digital world.

              CDU: "Digitization is the key issue" The quotation by Angela Merkel, the Internet is "for us all new territory" is now legend – that the promoted physicist is aware of the profound significance of digitization, is no question. The CDU presents its positions on digitization in its "Government Program 2017 to 2021" to around seven pages. Particularly the opportunities and advantages of digitalization are emphasized. "We are convinced that with the digitization, immense opportunities for Germany, its citizens and its economy are bound together, we will use them courageously and decisively. The Christian Democrats explain the digitalization as a "chief issue". In the next legislature period, the position of a "Minister of State for Digital Policy" in the Chancellery is to be created. In addition, the party wants to set up a Cabinet Committee on "Digital Policy" to further improve coordination between the ministries. In addition, the Federal Chancellor wants to appoint a "National Digital Council", which should allow a close exchange between politics and national as well as international experts: "We want the cleverest minds to be in the service of this transformation." The demand for a comprehensive expansion of the fiber optic network in Germany also belongs to the good tone in election campaign times. According to the government program, this is to be completed by 2025. Germany and Europe are also to be the "lead market" for the 5G mobile radio standard. Other positions of the CDU on digitization: – In order to allow the creation of "new new platforms, eg in the areas of networked mobility and health", the antitrust law should be adapted. – Start-ups should be "encouraged and supported". To this end, the introduction of a single stop-shop ("one-stop-shop") is to be examined "specifically for these companies". – A "digital education campaign" is to ensure that there are sufficiently well-trained specialists. Schools and universities will be equipped with fast internet connections and the corresponding technology. Vocational further training is also to be strengthened. SPD: "Broadband for all" In an interview with Youtuber Marcel Althaus, SPD chancellor candidate Schulz remained rather vague about many questions about digitalization. Digitalthems are obviously not the hobby of the skilled bookseller. Relatively late, Schulz has also tried to fill the issue in the election campaign and demanded that responsibility for digitization be bundled in the Federal Chancellery. In the government program of the SPD, the digitalisation is discussed in different contexts, whereby in addition to the opportunities for the economy also often the dangers for workers and consumers play a role. Above all, data protection is at the heart of the Social Democrats: "The aim of our data policy is to guarantee the right to privacy. At the same time, we want to exploit the economic potential of data, as data protection and big data are not mutually exclusive." The SPD also pleads for an "international law of the network", which defines the digital basic rights: "Against this background, we want to establish Germany and Europe as a leading location for data protection and IT security and will promote a digital fundamental rights charter within the EU". The objectives of the two major parties are similar to the expansion of the digital infrastructure. The SPD also wants to ensure "broadband for all" by 2025. Until then, 90 per cent of households will have a gigabit connection and the necessary investments will be encouraged. The 5G standard is also to be further advanced. Other positions of the SPD on digitization: – In economic policy, the SPD is mainly focused on small and medium-sized enterprises. They wanted to "win small and medium-sized businesses and their craft for their digitalization". The networking of industry, small and medium-sized enterprises with start-ups will play a part in the success of Industrie 4.0. Small and medium-sized enterprises should receive grants for "digital equipment". Business start-ups should be more unbureaucratic and the questions of company founders can be answered from a single source. – Labor law should be adapted to the increasingly digital world of work: "The right to work and work must be adjusted according to the changes made by the digitalisation, so that the protective function of labor law is preserved. – In education, pupils should acquire digital competencies across disciplines. Schools and other educational institutions should be given a "modern technical equipment". FDP: "advocate of the new possibilities" With the social media pro Christian Lindner, the FDP has a top candidate, which occupies the topic of digitization most consistently. In the index of the electoral program the keyword digitization appears ten times. The FDP's proposals and demands for digitization are also the most extensive. Not surprisingly, the Liberals emphasize the chances of the Digital Revolution for the economy and society: "We Free Democrats understand us as an advocate of the new possibilities of digitization," the liberals program says. As the only major party, the FDP calls for the introduction of its own digital ministry. This is intended to end the "competence deficit between five ministries in the area of ​​digitization" and also to use synergy effects for a slimmer and more effective government. In addition, the FDP pleads for the creation of a digital single market in Europe. The legal framework should be aligned. Competition law and copyright are also to be modernized. In the area of ​​cartel law, not only the turnover, but also the transaction value, is to be taken into account in order to intervene in the case of mega-acquisitions in the digital area. With regard to copyright, the FDP is advocating rules that also "take into account the legitimate interests of users and investors". In the digital world, "copyright is becoming a key right to the creation of creative content and must also ensure in the digital world that the income from the exploitation of creative services flows to the authors and other entitled parties." Of course, the FDP also wants a comprehensive expansion of fast fiber-optic networks, unlike the CDU and the SPD, but not a concrete date – the proposals for the realization of the networks are more concrete: the expansion in regional clusters is to be announced, so an expansion is also attractive in rural areas. All providers should be able to rent capacities in the new fiber optic networks. In addition, the FDP wants more free WLAN in public areas and an abolition of the incarceration. In the area of ​​education, too, digitization is to be massively supported – among other things with a € 1000 technology investment per student. Digital education should become an integral part of teacher training and further education. The Greens: "We shape the digitization" Even Alliance 90 / The Greens are comprehensively positioning themselves for digitization. The theme of the program is devoted to a separate chapter. One wanted to "actively shape" digital change. We see "many opportunities and possibilities through the digitization that we want to take". However, the Greens do not rely solely on the market, but also want to intervene in regulatory terms. "It is important to us to make digitalization with clear rules so that the benefits do not only benefit a few in our society." In the same way as the SPD, the Greens are also keen to make the most of the middle class. An IT consulting network for digital change is designed to provide companies with independent advice on issues such as digitalization, automation and networking. In addition, a tax credit of 15 per cent is tax-favored by small and medium-sized enterprises in research and development, according to the plans of the Green Investments. Founders are also to be better supported – among other things by interest-free loans of up to 25,000 euros. In addition, the Greens want to set up a "one-stop shop" for founders, through which all administrative procedures can be handled and the start-ups also advises. The party also makes a concrete proposal for the expansion of the IT infrastructure. The Greens want to sell the Telekom shares in the federal state and invest the proceeds of around ten billion euros in broadband expansion. They also demand clearer responsibilities for the issue of digitization, which must be "represented independently" in the Cabinet, but the election program does not show in what form. The Greens also advocate a European digital single market. In the area of ​​labor law, the Greens want to further strengthen the rights and protection of workers in the digital world. Thus, the party wants to introduce a right to Homeoffice, but protect workers with a "Employment Protection Act" but also against a comprehensive performance control. The Left: Against a "Digital Precariat" The left focuses on digitization primarily in the context of labor law. Digitization and work and contracting across clouds and platforms have resulted in an increasing number of "digital day laborers", often working under precarious conditions. Workplace rights should also apply to crowds and cloud work. For the regulation of crowdworking, a uniform legal framework at EU level must be created. The Left also attaches great importance to free and unimpeded access to the Internet and to the protection of personal rights on the net – control and monitoring by state organs and companies should not exist. An Internet access and the necessary technical equipment is "part of the subsistence minimum" for the party. Every household has a right to an affordable, fast broadband internet connection. Broadband development is viewed by the left as a governmental task which is to be carried out directly by public authorities. Critically, the left is opposed to the possibilities of data collection and monitoring on the Internet. Users are to be "comprehensively informed" about the collection of personal data. Companies that violate data protection requirements must be consistently sanctioned. A use of data, for example for monitoring, evaluation or for behavioral predictions of individual humans is seen critically. For an assessment of creditworthiness, with regard to the use of social security systems or with regard to investigations (Predictive Policing), the Left rejects the use of data. AfD: claim to "participation in digital life" Comparatively rudimentary are the positions of the alternative for Germany for digitization. The keyword "digitization" does not appear in the election program of the party at all. The search for the keyword "data protection" does not yield any results. In the chapter "Culture and the Media", the paragraph on the Internet topic consists of a single sentence: "The Internet as a medium of communication, information and freedom of expression must not be subject to any restrictions or censorship apart from the prosecution of criminal offenses." In the chapter on economic policy, the AfD, like all other parties, calls for a rapid expansion of broadband networks. All households, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, should be connected to fast broadband networks within two years, irrespective of whether they are located in urban areas or in rural areas. How the broadband expansion is to be implemented in just two years, the AfD does not provide any concrete information. "Financial burdens" are to be mitigated by "state support programs". ie





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