Laschet and Spahn: digitization first, concerns second

Armin Laschet and Jens Spahn have published an impulse paper for an “innovative and livable Germany” with which they want to score points in the fight for the future CDU chairmanship. The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Laschet and the Federal Minister of Health Spahn, who supports him, vow in the 10-point plan to start with digitization in the first place.

The two Christian Democrats running as a team want to create a digital ministry that “deserves its name”. This should receive “comprehensive competencies for modernizing the infrastructure and the working methods of authorities”. So far, Schwarz-Rot has only managed to set up the position of digital state secretary at the Federal Chancellery and fill it with Dorothee Bär. The CSU politician has a manageable staff and sphere of activity.

At the end of the year, the eco association of the Internet industry had its own digital ministry for the next legislative period referred to as “absolutely overdue”. The past three years of digital policy have shown “that a central department is needed that brings the threads together and keeps an eye on the broad lines of the digital agenda”. This is the only way to prevent the wrangling over competencies and the inconsistency of recent years in digital politics. Opponents of the concept, on the other hand, are calling for more network policy competence in all departments.

Laschet and Spahn also advocate a reform of data law and want to “enable data protection and data usage at the same time”. This is reminiscent of the FDP election slogan: “Digital first, concerns second.” Spahn has had to listen to criticism repeatedly in the past few months, for example with the “digital supply law” that he initiated and the initiative for e-patient files with the privacy of users not being taken very seriously and a controversial research center for big data analysis in the sensitive health sector.

The team also wants to create its “own blockchain infrastructure in Germany”, strengthen the open data approach and accelerate the digitization of public administration with the “one-only principle and one-stop government”. What is probably meant is the “once only” principle, according to which citizens only have to enter their data once at the authorities. The federal government wants to manage this procedure with the controversial modernization of the register and the tax ID as a citizen number.

Laschet und Spahn envisions the “most modern digital infrastructure” as the “2030 target”. “Standardized approval procedures for the expansion of fiber optics, LTE and 5G” should help. “The best conditions for science” are to come through corresponding research funding with a focus on the establishment of professorships for artificial intelligence (AI). With its relevant strategy, the federal government wants to create 100 corresponding posts, although it is not making particularly rapid progress.

In the well-known style of the CDU / CSU, the duo advertises in the area of ​​internal security for a “consistent implementation” of the zero-tolerance line for crime and extremism. Investigative authorities want to strengthen it with “more staff, more technical possibilities” and the “necessary rights”, although this course remains otherwise vague. In addition to the police, municipal security services, the fire brigade, the protection of the constitution and disaster control are to be expanded and networked across Europe. Above all, cyber crime and child abuse should be consistently combated in all their forms.

The CDU would according to the paper under Laschet and Spahn also to promote a basis for the “taxation of digital value creation” and “nationwide digital schools analogous to music schools”. In general, the party should “comprehensively understand” digital education, i.e. develop appropriate technical skills and competencies. More home office capacities are needed in companies and administrations as well as a better exchange of information in the health system.

Germany wants to turn the team into a “real laboratory for innovative forms of mobility” such as air taxis and autonomous driving. There is no talk of e-mobility. Battery and storage technologies should make progress, hydrogen research should be promoted and a “Europe-wide, more effective CO2-Preis “. In the interests of a” new start-up era “, the candidates are calling for more state incentives for venture capital, a” year free of bureaucracy “and a national digital fund.

The new CDU federal executive is to be elected in mid-January during a digital party conference. Opinion researchers currently see the population’s preferences for the CDU chairmanship as competitors Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen ahead of the Laschet / Spahn team. January 10th the C-Netz is planning rounds of talks with the candidates on “digital-political future prospects”.


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