The Cabinet has now announced appointments to this new body.
Digital change opens up enormous opportunities for the people of Germany. But it is up to the government to put in place the framework that will enable everyone to participate. Some things are already working well, but a great many projects still lie ahead of us. The Digital Council will put its expertise at the disposal of the government, thus helping realise these projects.
The Council will meet at least twice a year with the Chancellor and other members of the government. In addition to this, it will also hold its own meetings. Members will work on a voluntary basis.
The governing parties agreed in the Coalition Agreement to establish this new body. "The German government will appoint a Digital Council which will facilitate close dialogue between the policy level and national and international experts."
New ideas from outside
The new Digital Council will bring together independent experts, male and female, from the realms of science, research and the private sector. Together, their experience spans the full spectrum of the digital scene: women and men, academics and practitioners, start-up entrepreneurs and well established business people. They all bring with them practical experience and represent innovation. Chancellor Angela Merkel is convinced that the work of the Digital Council will spawn many new ideas "which we, the government, can translate into practice".
At its meeting on 22 August 2018, the Cabinet appointed the ten experts from Germany and other countries who will make up the new advisory body.
A critical look is called for
The members of the Digital Council are to support the German government with their technical expertise and ask the right questions – part of their mandate is to put uncomfortable questions and to drive forwards. That is precisely what the policy level needs if it is to keep pace with technological developments, and translate these into practical government action.