MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Mister President! My dear colleagues! As the last speaker in this debate, I am not summarizing the debate; I would rather speak about a budget that does not yet have a section. It is about the digital household. It has become a good tradition in the Union Group that digital politicians have their say in the general financial debate.
Digital policy is future policy. They are investments in the future. It remains regrettable that the Federal Minister of Finance is not in a position to provide an overview of the departments’ digital editions for this federal budget either.
(Applause from Deputy Otto Fricke [FDP])
Therefore, the Digital Agenda Committee is now inviting the departments individually to get to the bottom of this secret. However, I will already point out some specific positions in this debate.
Let me outline the three major digital policy guidelines for this budget:
First: the financial policy requirements for artificial intelligence. As a coalition, we have increased AI funding several times. We did this in three tranches, three times 500 million euros. These funds are now also distributed to the individual departments, although it must be said critically that a parliamentarian does not always understand the process of this distribution.
It is important that the relevant departments such as the Federal Ministry of Research and the Federal Ministry of Economics benefit from these funds; because their budgets show how sensibly these funds are used. I am glad that the AI strategy will continue to be funded. We have now entered another 2 billion euros in section 60, which will be called up accordingly, especially in the European context.
Second: the financial policy requirements for digital school education: 5 billion euros for the DigitalPakt Schule, 500 million euros for the devices of needy students, 500 million euros for the system administrators, 500 million euros in addition for end devices for teachers – all packaged in federal states -Agreements in which, in our opinion, the Bundestag must be much more involved in monitoring and structuring. The Federal Audit Office finds the right words in its report.
Let me also say, however, that more money will not solve the structural problems of our federal school system. If the federal states do not finally work and cooperate in the field of digital school education and also cooperate with the federal government, we will not be able to overcome these pent-up problems.
Third: the coalition’s financial policy guidelines on future funds for start-ups. We had agreed to spend 10 billion euros over ten years. Part of this fund is intended to mobilize venture capital from institutional investors in order to consolidate our local start-up ecosystem. The Ministry of Economics and Finance have been negotiating here since April. We are now on the home stretch. Many thanks to Thomas Jarzombek, the start-up representative in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, for promoting this topic together with the digital politicians. The “Startup Monitor” published today shows that our activities are having an impact.
Dear colleagues, let’s take a look at some of the individual households in which the digital projects are embedded:
At the Federal Ministry of the Interior, 1.4 billion euros are earmarked for the implementation of the Online Access Act on the subject of “e-government” for 2021 and 1.3 billion euros for the following year. Dear Ralph Brinkhaus, thank you very much for getting this important topic through in the coalition committee so well.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)
I very much hope that the federal states will now participate in the IT planning council and not block them and that sustainable structures will be created.
By the way: For the urgently needed register modernization, 200 million euros were set aside for this year and 65 million euros for the next year. I hope that the coalition partner will now pull together with us and that we will make progress on this issue as well.
Let’s take a look at the BMBF budget. There is a significant increase in the national research data infrastructure there, and we are spending almost 200 million euros on quantum technology.
With 88.5 million euros, the Federal Ministry of Economics has sent a clear signal for our “Gaia-X” project. Here we set the pace in Europe.
Let’s look at the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Next year, 920 million euros will be available for broadband expansion and 40 million euros for the mobile communications infrastructure company. I very much hope, Andi Scheuer, that what the CSU is imagining will also improve. In addition, 50 million euros are available to support computer game development. That is also an important contribution. Thank you for that too. We have to remain a driver of innovation here.
In order to avoid double funding, it is necessary that we guarantee targeted project management. For this we need a digital budget in the future. As a parliament, we must be able to steer better. The current budget fragmentation makes the necessary structuring, but also the control by the budget legislator difficult. The government must also organize digital policy even better in the next legislature.
I am convinced that we are setting the right priorities with the 2021 budget. They are investments in the future; it is a future budget and I look forward to the deliberations.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.