Alexander Rabe criticizes “Diffusion of Responsibility”
Digitization in Germany? There is no real “management of heads”, but rather a “distribution of responsibilities”, criticizes Alexander Rabe, member of the Digital Strategy Advisory Board.
Promoting German digitization is the central task of Digital Minister Volker Wessing (FDP). At the Digital Summit in Berlin on Friday, he wants to reaffirm that. Alexander Raab is a member of the Digital Strategy Advisory Board and Director General of the Internet Industry Environmental Association. In an interview with ZDFheute, he explains why digitization is progressing slowly in Germany.
ZDFheute: Why does Germany lag so far behind other EU countries when it comes to digitization?
Alexander Raab: The digitization niche in Germany is ultimately local. For decades, different governments have neglected to constantly invest in digitization. We see the result today, we are falling behind and falling behind in digitization.
ZDFheute: Digital Minister Wessing hasn’t strayed too far from his “digital strategy”. What do you see as reasons for this?
Alexander Rabie: The federal government’s digital strategy is a collection of individual projects from the various ministries of the federal government. That in itself is, of course, a distributed apportionment of responsibility. Ultimately, bringing these elements together so that the projects can be successfully implemented at the end of the legislature is the challenge that now faces the Minister of Digital.
As an Internet industry association, we’ve always looked forward to a strong digital ministry with a pioneering, digital budget. We don’t have that. We have a share of responsibility. This is the situation we have to deal with now.
ZDFheute: What needs to be done so that Germany can close the digitization gap with other EU countries – and in the near future?
Alexander Raab: In the near future there will be a big challenge in question. We need a mindset, both in politics and in society.
Germany itself fears technology, and policy ends up reflecting this situation and, in some cases, reinforcing it through individual actions.
Whether it’s data protection, which is interpreted inconsistently and leads to uncertainty in Germany. Whether it’s government interference – like data retention or something. It doesn’t really set the stage for becoming more digital in the future.
ZDFheute: How do you imagine a perfectly connected Germany? What are the requirements for this beyond the digital infrastructure?
Alexander Raab: Digital Germany 2030, envision a country where citizens and policy makers have digital skills they can use to shape the digital future. Because here we already see a deficit in schools. We are of the opinion that there are no computer science classes and no comprehensive media skills classes. And so the value chain continues to some extent.
Future digital designers are being trained all over the world, but very little in Germany.
The interview was conducted by Roman Leskovar at the ZDF studio in Berlin.