Digtial devices
26 February 2019

Towards an ambitious European digital roadmap

On 25 February 2019, Mounir Mahjoubi, Minister of State for the Digital Sector, visited Berlin to move ahead with his German counterparts on an ambitious European digital agenda, including competition and data sharing, tackling online hate and implementing the agenda established by the Treaty of Aachen in relation to artificial intelligence.
 
 
"In terms of digital technology, we are at a turning point: Europe is our principal force for taking an active approach in the digital arena. With Germany, we share the unwavering ambition to build a credible European model, between the Californian laissez-faire approach and Chinese authoritarianism. With our German partners, we share the desire to provide a balance between performance and the need for innovation that serves humankind."
Mounir Mahjoubi

Competition and the question of data sharing have been the subject of in-depth discussions with the Ministry of Economy: over the last few months, Germany has carried out prospective work on this subject, which has also been at the centre of work carried out in France within the context of the "États généraux du numérique" (Digital Convention). "On the economic front, we share with the Germans the view that the status quo is no longer satisfactory when it comes to fostering digital innovation. Our work is moving in the same direction; we must coordinate our efforts", said Mounir Mahjoubi.

Tackling online hate has also been at the centre of discussions: on this subject, the German lawmakers paved the way in 2018. France is now working to develop its own legislation in this area, on the basis of the Avia-Taïeb-Amellal report, the "États généraux des nouvelles régulations du numérique" (New Digital Regulations Convention) and the experimental mission launched with Facebook on this subject. "The German example has been particularly instructive during our discussions. Today, with Laetitia Avia, we share the desire to build an even more comprehensive framework, which effectively holds platforms accountable while maintaining freedom of speech. Today I have spoken with representatives of Germany’s digital industry, who are applying German law today and who now have clear ideas on how to develop France and Europe’s future framework."

Lastly, Mounir Mahjoubi, together with his counterparts, identified the priority projects required to implement the ambitious agenda established under the Treaty of Aachen regarding artificial intelligence. France and Germany share the desire to facilitate access for economic stakeholders to non-personal data with the potential to boost innovation, subject to the provision of safeguards in terms of trust and security.

These joint projects will be developed over the coming months, ahead of the informal G7 Digital Ministers Meeting, "Tech for Humanity", which will be held in Bercy on 16 May, and will inform the agenda of the next European Commission.