Working together on a European digital policy
Germany and France face similar challenges when it comes to digital policy. Yet they are not working together to confront these challenges. It is for precisely this reason that we have been working with the French National Digital Council to create a platform for cooperation.
The digitalization of society confronts both France and Germany with a similar set of novel questions. Yet despite the global nature of the internet, digital policy issues are still discussed primarily at the national level. Transnational European solutions are urgently needed.
We aimed to develop a concept for bringing together actors working in digital policy in both countries, so that they can exchange information and develop joint strategies. It was very important to us that people meet in person, rather than merely contacting each other on well-intentioned e‑mail lists and discussion forums.
The +33/49 forum was created in cooperation with the National Digital Council of France (Conseil National du Numerique—CNNum). In several meetings in France and Germany, various actors were able to discuss and exchange information on upcoming digital policy decisions. The forum also organized the first Franco-German cryptoparty with prominent guests from politics and society in both countries. The work of Forum +33/49 also produced several strategic position papers advocating a European digital policy.
The Forum +33/49 is a Franco-German platform for the exchange of knowledge, ideas and strategies in the field of digitalization policy. The aim is to jointly meet the challenges of digitization and to do so on the basis of European values.
Both Germany and France are in the throes of a widespread digital transformation, one that is affecting changes in all areas of life. Digitization brings with it both opportunities and challenges that, in a networked world, are best tackled together. Germany and France are among the cornerstones of a digitized Europe. An intensive exchange of knowledge as well as strategic and structural cooperation between the two nations can accomplish a great deal in paving the way to a digital age shaped by European values.
For this reason, the CNNum and iRights.Lab in Germany are working together to promote a multilayered and close cooperation. The result has been the Forum +33/49.
The name Forum +33/49 has a threefold meaning. Firstly, the numbers 33 and 49 are the country dialing codes of France and Germany respectively. They are also a symbol for direct dialogue—as in a long-distance call between the two countries. Finally, the modern communication technologies on which today’s digital future is being built derive historically from the infrastructure of telephone networks. The subject of the Forum’s discussions is thus already contained in the name: the successful digitization in tandem of France, Germany and Europe.
Conseil National du Numérique
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