Billions for Digitalisation from Brussels

  • Bitkom on Germany’s recovery and resilience plan
  • Berg: "Historic opportunity to accelerate digitisation in Germany"

Berlin, 22. June 2021 - EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin today to deliver the Commission's assessment of the German Recovery and Resilience Plan. In total, the EU is making 750 billion euros available to the member states, with around 26 billion euros allocated to Germany. More than half is earmarked for digitisation measures and digital technologies, most of which is to be invested in the digitisation of public administration.

Bitkom President Achim Berg explains:

"Rarely has Europe been so united, so pragmatic and so fast as in providing the billions to tackle the Covid-19 crisis. The funds offer a historic opportunity to accelerate digitisation in Germany and Europe. The experience of the pandemic has clearly shown that digitisation in Germany must be advanced in a quick and sustainable manner. For example, in 2021 employees of health offices and administrations should be enabled to work from their home offices throughout. The German recovery and resilience plan has what it takes to become a blueprint for future digitisation programmes, including national ones. On the one hand, funds are invested in a targeted manner, especially in the digitisation of public administration. On the other hand, the money flows in a results-oriented manner and thus only if the self-set goals are achieved.

Germany's recovery and resilience plan is a genuine digitalisation plan, more than half of the funds are to be used for measures that contribute to the digital transformation. In comparison, the target set by the EU is significantly lower at 20 percent ermarked funds for digitalisation. For the implementation to be a success, we must not simply transfer existing analogue processes one-to-one into the digital world. Digitisation is more than hardware and software; above all, digitisation is a mindset. Furthermore, we should make sure that we really think ahead when it comes to digitising public administration - and that means getting start-ups and innovative SMEs on board and letting them have their say in the implementation.”