According to a report, the SPD, Greens and FDP are said to have distanced themselves from the formation of a digitization ministry in the coalition negotiations.
Berlin – Digitization was one of the key issues in the recent federal election campaign. A topic on which the majority of the parties were at least essentially in agreement. Germany had slept through the advancing digitization for too long and was passed on in an international comparison. That has to change now. Above all, the FDP wrote the issue of digitization on the political flag and advertised in its election manifesto with the demand to set up its own federal ministry for digitization.
Digitization Ministry: FDP on core issue probably “on the retreat”
A project that the Free Democrats can now apparently not put into practice. As the Handelsblatt reported with reference to negotiators, there will probably be no digitization ministry in the new legislative period. The negotiators of the FDP are with their proposal in the coalition negotiations “on the retreat”. The party has now come to the realization that a newly created ministry would slow down rather than accelerate digitization.
The decisive point here is the personnel and organizational restructuring that a new Federal Ministry would bring with it. On the one hand, there is currently too little space to erect new buildings for the ministry; on the other hand, the establishment of a digitization ministry could lead to personnel bottlenecks in other departments.
Digitization in the traffic light coalition: cross-sectional solution instead of a separate ministry?
Another point is the possible coalition partners of the FDP, who tend to reject a central digitization ministry. That’s how it reports Handelsblattthat SPD negotiators see digitization as a cross-sectional challenge that must be attacked in all ministries at the same time.
One possibility for the FDP to at least partially keep its election promise would be to add the digitization department to an existing ministry. For example, a ministry for economics and digitization could be created. Thus, the topic would at least enjoy a higher priority on paper.
The proposal has also been heard from negotiating circles to appoint a “Federal Minister with special tasks” who could then centrally plan and coordinate digital core projects. Another possibility would be for SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz to make digitization a top priority after his election by the Bundestag and for the department to stay where it is: in the Chancellery.
Traffic light coalition: no ministry of its own – is Scholz making digitization a top priority?
During the election campaign, Scholz had already toyed with the idea of appointing a “Chief Digital Officer” in the Chancellery, who would then be responsible for digitization projects. However, it is unclear at the moment whether a new position will be created or the existing position of Minister of State for Digitization in the Chancellery will be given more powers. It is also possible that the new head of the Chancellery will also be charged with the digitization department. Either way, such a plan could not fit into the concept of the FDP, which in this case would have to hand over one of its core political issues to the SPD.
Representatives of digital associations initially reacted skeptically to the news that there will be no digitization ministry in the future either. Such an institution would have signaled “that the digitization of Germany is finally on top of the agenda,” said Dirk Freytag, President of the Federal Association of the Digital Economy (BVDW) Handelsblatt. (fd)