The German government is pushing for Europe’s digital sovereignty and the Bundestag is discussing how to influence EU’s impending Digital Services Act to that effect, Thomas Heilmann, a German parliamentarian and a member of the German Digital Agenda Committee, said. France, too, is actively working on achieving sovereignty in the digital space, Marine Guillaume, the Deputy to the Ambassador for Digital Affairs in the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said. Both of them spoke at different panels at the CyFy, the annual cybersecurity conference organised by the Observer Research Foundation. The aim of digital sovereignty is to create conditions to break the monopoly of American actors, Guillaume said. This aspiration for digital sovereignty is the “assertiveness of the European Union” as an alternative to the “big techno spheres” so that the EU can take its own decisions in the future, Regine Grienberger, the German ambassador for cyber foreign policy, said. This claim for a European sovereignty, Grienberger specified, was not limited to 5G, but extended to technology and emerging technologies in general. The French and German commitment to digital sovereignty is not new. In November 2019, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had urged Europe to claim “digital sovereignty” and seize control of its data from American companies at an employers’ conference in Berlin. She said that the EU should develop its own platforms to manage data, and reduce its reliance on American cloud services run by Amazon, Microsoft and Google. France and Germany, in fact launched GAIA-X in 2019 which…
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