MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Dear Madam President! Dear Colleagues! Ladies and gentlemen! Before I go into your content, dear FDP, I would like to make one thing clear: It is not the first time that you have submitted your applications at the last minute.
(Manuel Höferlin [FDP]: You intervene in fundamental rights!)
This application was also only submitted yesterday evening. I say very clearly: It’s not a good style, and it’s not collegial either if you do it that way!
(Dr. Florian Toncar [FDP]: You do that in every committee! It’s everyday life for you!)
Every now and then you like to provoke by ignoring the usual procedure.
(Dr. Florian Toncar [FDP]: pulled by the hair, what you say!)
You are calling for a new digital ministry twelve months before the end of the electoral term; The division of responsibilities – you should actually know that – always takes place at the beginning of a legislative period, by means of an organizational decree.
(Dr. Florian Toncar [FDP]: That is nowhere that you say! You can do that tomorrow!)
You should know that. You can’t just move the individual budgets in the household in between. Why do we have medium-term financial planning?
(Dr. Florian Toncar [FDP]: You can throw them away anyway!)
Ladies and gentlemen, the FDP is also calling for the broadband expansion, the DigitalPact School and digital administration to be implemented more quickly. Let’s take stock of the situation: The federal government has set up an internet portal on digital policy especially for this purpose. There, 145 projects from all policy areas are listed.
(Joana Cotar [AfD]: Nice!)
A few keywords: 5 G – you said it correctly, Mr. Höferlin -, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, but also urban and rural areas or changes in the world of work. Projects on all of these topics are ongoing at federal level.
(Manuel Höferlin [FDP]: What has been processed?)
Our goal is to bring these topics closer to the citizens and to provide the companies with appropriate assistance.
Now to your first topic, broadband expansion. The federal government has provided 11 billion euros for underserved regions; The federal states and municipalities have to co-finance, which means that investments are doubled. There are currently 1,550 funding projects running to close white spots, especially in rural regions. That means in plain language: 2.4 million connections, not only private, but also in companies, schools and hospitals have been created.
An example from my constituency: The district of Diepholz is building a fiber optic network based on the operator model. 18,000 additional connections are planned there. According to the model – to be honest, 850 remain uneconomical and are not taken into account. At this point I would like to make it very clear that we must ensure that these households are also connected, no matter how remote they are.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)
We want to meet Minister Scheuer’s goal: We want gigabit connections for all households by 2025. It is now important that, as part of the amendment to the Telecommunications Act, we achieve above-ground cabling; because that is especially important for remote households.
Now to your second point: the DigitalPakt school. Here we increased the funds from 5 to 6.5 billion euros. In the corona crisis, we made available 1 billion euros more to provide students and teachers with laptops. It is important that every school develops its own digital concept and that we don’t specify it centrally. Of course, it is also crucial here that the municipalities and rural districts have staff available to maintain the systems in the medium and long term. Because it is not enough to buy the whole thing; it has to be made available and then operated for years.
Now to the digital administration. We have laid the foundations for this with the Online Access Act. By 2022 – and we are constantly expanding – all administrative services are to be offered digitally, from the municipality to the state to the federal government. We have incorporated that into the coalition agreement and will be worked through piece by piece.
(Shouting from Anke Domscheit-Berg [DIE LINKE])
Yes, it is partly correct: The corona crisis has accelerated digitization. That’s for sure. We also see gaps here and there where there is still room for improvement. I always like to say that the infrastructure is the basis for everything. That is why the federal government has initiated its own infrastructure company. Analogous to broadband, we will also expand and supplement mobile communications in areas where it is uneconomical for network operators. Up to 5000 new cell towers are to be financed for underserved areas, and we are spending 1 billion euros on this.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)
I believe, ladies and gentlemen – and this is important – that such state investments would not be necessary today if the licensing had been structured differently 20 years ago.
(Shouting from MP Margit Stumpp [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN])
Let me remind you briefly: In 2000 the UMTS licenses were awarded for 50 billion euros. That literally pulled the money out of the companies’ pockets, and that slowed down the expansion of mobile communications over the years, if not decades. We could be a lot further. But – and we have to add that – that was in the times of red-green.
(Acclamation from Deputy Dr. Jens Zimmermann [SPD])
It also depends on data sovereignty – that must be really clear in the pandemic. Data protection and IT security must also be guaranteed in the home office. To do this, on the one hand, we have to make users fit, and on the other hand, we need an innovation boost for German and European technologies. We can no longer depend on foreign products and services. The EU Commission – we know this is primarily a European issue – will soon be presenting a package of measures in this regard. Among other things, it includes data usage by major online platforms such as Google and Facebook.
If you look at the motions of the FDP that we have debated in recent years, you ask yourself: What has actually become of its economically liberal brand core? Is the state the better entrepreneur? Well, that contradicts my understanding of economic liberalism. We don’t want a central authority for digitization; because digitization is a cross-sectional task for all areas and this does not have to be regulated centrally by an authority.
(Joana Cotar [AfD]: But that doesn’t work without it!)
Bundling simply does not do justice to this matter.
Thank you for your attention.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.