Eigentlich lasse ich das Zitat immer erst auf den Leser wirken. Aus Gründen des "nicht vergessens" habe ich mich jedoch dazu entschlossen, das ganze Diff zu zitieren (@netzpolitik.org, eine E-Mail und ich passe das an - ihr habt die Arbeit geleistet, nicht ich. @leser, immer fein an netzpolitik.org spenden, jeder Eurocent hilft).
Günther Oettinger: Speech at the Digital4Europe Stakeholder Meeting
Ladies and Gentlemen, Director General, Dear representatives from many many EU Members States, as citizens, as workers, as entrepreneurs, as producers, consumers, we, all of us are consumers, all of us are in a revolution, the digital revolution.
I am very grateful to you for coming here to share your expertise, but also to take away a very very clear signal, a message that is that in the digital revolution that Europe does not want to lose. We want to prevail. We have got to act and react, but not be on the losing side.
If we can compare this with other types of revolutions that have been driven by technology. I suppose that printing was the first such of revolution that became possible to print and reproduce the written word. That’s when the first educated society emerged.
At the same time we had in parallel Protestantism, so in parallel with the Catholic church we had the Lutheran and other Protestant Churches.
We had the steam engine which came and gave rise to another revolution and in came a generation of electricity everywhere, it allows us to be more mobile, it allowed the industrial revolution to provide us with warmth and security.
Then you have automation under Henry Ford, the ability to produce goods en masse, automatically and then of course the introduction of the computer.
Now digital technology is bringing the next revolution. However if you compare this with the printing press, the printing press took decades for people to get a book in their hands for the first time, usually it was the bible.
The digital revolution is happening much more quickly and it is accelerating all the time. That means you‘re either up there with it or you fall behind. We have got to ensure that we are on board. And that means that our ideas, our values, our abilities, our interests and our ideas in exchanging information and communicating are part of that.
Now, clearly it has a lot it can offer but at the same time it is like a small football field with only six players - that is the IT sector and that is where the Americans have lost this.
a lot of areas of digital production the Americans are up there ahead of everybody else, they decide what the standards are. And to a certain extent, digital economies are characterised by monopolies to a large extent. Which is why the Americans have been able to define quite a few different „rules“.
If we move away from the smaller „mini“ football tournaments to the genuine „World Cup“ we have teams of eleven, you have lots of different representatives of industry, arts and crafts, various sectors of society, they come back onto the playing field or they stay on the side lines.
Now automobile construction is a European strength so we are taking about cars, but also buses and trucks. That applies in most member states and, because of the subsidiary accessory industries, that applies to another number of other countries in Europe. As Europe is a net exporter of cars be it Peugeot, Fiat, Renault Skoda, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audio, VW, Opel or Ford in Europe. In any case, Europe is still in this mobility sector – the market leader.
Now you may have read that Google and Apple are going to make cars. Because obviously there is a shift when it comes to mobility when using electricity. And then you have digital printing which means that you no longer have to use lasers and go cutting steel and all the rest to produce the various parts of the body of the car. You can now actually print them in 3D which means digital innovation so that means a new Peugeot or a new Mercedes Benz compared to the previous model which is only 7 years older which has got 50 % digital technology. The digital technology determines not only the brakes, the security, exhaust fumes and the engine power, digital steering technology are very important.
When I was 18 years old the most important thing was to get a second hand car. If you look at what a 17 or 18 year old wants nowadays, a car is more of a communication centre which happens to have 4 wheels and move.
So this is a revolution in this society driven by digital technology and society itself and a lot of the younger people in the room are active participants and I am more reactive than active. So what do we have to achieve that our economy stays on board. In Germany people talk about the „FoF“ or in France it is the “ usine du futur “ and all of these are things are the same.
Moving away from the IT sector to provide services, control functions which determine production in the factories in the printing houses, in banks and in the insurance sector. So why for example do you need a branch of the ING in the main street, expensive staff, counters? What you need is an ATM machine, online banking, I can check my bank extracts, print-outs at home and what about banking advice, consultations? Is that important when you get married, writing your will, divorcing? That is not something that you do every day, luckily.
Apple pay for example, that is someone who knows more about you than your own bank if your use or an iPhone, or say the company that gave you your SIM card, knows all about your credit worthiness, your shopping habits and everything.
Take car insurance for example – they know that last time you were involved in an accident 10 years ago but Facebook and Apple know more. They know how long it takes to travel Paris to Marseille, overnight, when it‘s raining, they know when you made a phone call during the trip and they know more about your habits as well because we are going through a digital revolution where data is power.
And data gives rise to business models and here is where the Americans are in the lead. They have got the data, the business models and therefore the power. So we have got to get back into business and that‘s only going to be possible of being part of the European Team.
Each Member State on its own is too small. Thirty years ago I came into the government in Baden-Wü rttemberg and we drew up a data protection law for Baden-Württemberg, for the region in Germany for 11 million people. Then Bremen, in the North drew up their own data protection law. The idea being that Bremen can protect data is absurd. Then it applies to 28 individual data protection laws for each country, be it Ireland, Greece, Portugal, whatever Google is not going to pay any attention to that, Facebook even less. They will go to the Member State where data protection is least developed, they will then come along with their „electronic vacuum cleaner“ and suck up all the data, take the data to California, process it and sell it as a service for money.
For all these reasons we need a basic structure for European data protection. We need one European Competition Law. That means that anyone that wants to do business in Europe by providing services using knowledge of data, they are going to have to take account of our rules, comply with our rules or they are going to have trouble from Directorate General for Competition and then be ultimately be thrown out of the internal market.
We for the moment accept Google, Facebook and Chinese enterprises like Ali Baba and so on. But if they wish to do business in Europe, then they will have to observe our rules and that‘s the reason why a European Digital Single Market is necessary in the interest of all citizens of all governments of all member states.
Fragmented rules in a globalised sector, that what it is the digital sector is, it is a globalised sector. Here fragmented rules have no authority. Those who don‘t want to see more of Brussels, don‘t want to see more of European rules need to know that without Europe we will be powerless and we will lose out. The digital sector is a sector which does need to be „Europeanised“. We need to have a European Digital Union, the Digital Union, just like a banking union is what I have in mind.
Europe has been built on four pillars, you have the Union of Peace which is more topical than ever, the Community of Values, thirdly we have got currency and fourth the Single Market or the Internal Market, which functions and works when it comes to food and drink when it comes to vehicles, machinery, banking services but for not for digital services.
You can buy a Bordeaux in Brussels and can enjoy it in Helsinki. You don‘t have to pay any customs duty, you don‘t have to worry about bringing it with you. However when it comes to a football match, say Liverpool v Chelsea, you cannot book it in London and watch it in Brussels because we have still got fragmented digital markets and if you look at our national borders (and I respect these borders because they are still cultural borders) because they are the borders that define Europe‘s cultural diversity that go back to Napoleon, to the Congress of Versailles, they go back to the Conference of Yalta and prior to that the Congress of Vienna. But when it comes to digital communications and digital services, Napoleon did not have much of an idea of what they were, because for him it was a question of drums and homing pigeons and not much else. So if you look at the digital citizen, you cannot draw a dividing line between the digital citizen in Germany and in Strasbourg, France. So it is important to ensure for the Digital Union becomes a complete Digital Single Market.
One further idea involves awareness, education and specialised training because according to our estimates we need 150,000 additional experts to come onto the market every year in Europe and we don‘t have those. So there we need to have a sort of „Green Card“ so that people from India and Singapore can come here.
But we also, young Europeans, our children, we need a fewer lawyers (like myself) and more people who are experts in IT. I want to talk to the Research and Cultural Ministers in coming months to agree on a set of objectives, as to the standards and to the number of study places available for informatics training, so we can ensure in the next generation we have a genuine argument in favour of Europe as a digital location.
Secondly, we need skills and that means on-going into further education for everyone. Whether you work in a factory in the Ardennes or in the Black Forest producing tools, whether it is „M to M“ or „B to B“ anybody who works in any of these sectors has got to and will have to understand software and digital control systems or they will not be able to keep up.
In the trade unions and the chambers of commerce you are going to have to have these facilities for on-going education and IT training so that our enterprises can remain up to date for the digital world which is just around the corner.
Then we have go to ensure that the digital revolution apply changes in every domain – copyright law for example and if you are a writer and you write a book and the publisher comes along and publishes, if there is an editor doing research producing commentary spending their time. So, you decide on whether the Commission has done good work or has not done its job. Today‘s conference was exciting or the contributions were worthwhile, or not – that‘s their profession.
The same applies to the script writer, the director, composer, the musicians and singers – in every case we have got a very very prominent European culture which consists of a lot of intellectual know-how and intellectual property.
On the other hand we have got an Internet Community of people who wish to provide information and they are saying anything that is stored in the internet, should be available. So we need some of reform on our copyright law to deal with the access to digital data and we need to find a reasonable balance between the rights of the producer, creator, users and that applies to the publisher, transporter, broadcasting companies too.
So, a fascinating set of tasks ahead of us and would call upon you to ask for your views of the issue of copyright, rules and legislation.
We hope to produce a first draft of European Legislation for European Copyright by the middle of this year. That will be a twitter chat in a couple of days‘ time, so we want to get everyone on board, the creators of content, the users of content, citizens. So we‘ve got Shakespeare, Schiller and Udo Jürgens but they‘re not going to take us into the future, we need descendants of all these three.
Ladies and Gentleman I think we still have a chance, because Europe has a big market, we‘ve got the most exciting and the most active market in the world, we‘ve got start-ups, we have SMEs, we have a very creative society, we have a lot of freedoms, at lot of culture.
So, I think we must be willing to take part in this competition not against the American‘s, not against the South Koreans, not against the Chinese or the Indians, but with them. In this have got to ensure that during this digital revolution Europe can prevail.
I know that jobs will change, but the number of jobs is not really going to fall. We hope we can improve quality of life, improve traffic safety, provide better health services and so on and so forth.So, I think the balance the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. If everyone is willing to play in the „European Team“ and bring in their expertise and know-how.
Once again many thanks for coming in such impressive numbers and for your interest and motivation throughout the day. I think with that we will be able to move forward to a European Digital Union.