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Sovereignty: Political Illusion or Practical Perspective?

Digital sovereignty is a buzzword that politicians like to use these days to call for supposedly new initiatives, both in some individual countries like Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and at the EU level.
E-3 Magazine
8 October 2021
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Europe's dependence on US suppliers is undoubtedly frightening and alarming. Many an admonisher wished for corresponding initiatives and greater awareness of the problem many years ago.

Philipp Welte, member of the Management Board of Hubert Burda Media, correctly states: "We live in tightly cartelized structures because those in power in Berlin and Brussels have failed to keep digital markets open for nearly two decades." In 2019, the consultancy PwC had already recognized that the increasing dependence on a few software providers was significantly jeopardizing the digital sovereignty of the German federal administration, according to Professor Michael Eßig, holder of the Chair of Business Administration at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich.

Professor Henning Kagermann has published a white paper at Axatech on the digital sovereignty of the European Union.
Professor Henning Kagermann has published a white paper at Axatech on the digital sovereignty of the European Union.

Some efforts to rely on open source and build their own cloud infrastructures, such as Gaia-X, as well as publications, such as those edited by Professor Henning Kagermann, are worth noting. Kagermann in the foreword to the publication "Digital Sovereignty, Status quo and Fields of Action," published by Actech (German Academy of Science and Engineering): "Digital sovereignty is not only a question of competitiveness, but also of the political self-determination of the European Union." There is also a changed perception of giving more expression to European principles - such as the high value placed on data protection. Peter Ganten, CEO of the OSB Alliance, which is contributing technology to Gaia-X, sums up: "The government has recognized that there has been a market failure here."

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