New priorities for digital Switzerland
Bern, 11.09.2020 - The aspects of data and the environment are to be given greater emphasis in the digital policy of the Confederation in future. To make this possible, on 11 September 2020 the Federal Council adopted the updated “Digital Switzerland” strategy. Consideration is also being given to the significance of digitalisation for the functioning of the country in crisis situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the effects of which on digital policy have to be analysed in depth.
The “Digital Switzerland” strategy provides the guidelines for government action on digitalisation and is binding on the federal administration. It also serves as an orientation framework for the other stakeholders in digital Switzerland such as the economy, science and civil society. The ongoing development of the strategy was therefore carried out in collaboration with them. The Federal Council has laid down the following priorities for the next two years:
- Protection of the environment: the new technologies enable further development of environmental policy through access to ever more precise environmental data. In order to make optimal use of digitalisation for the protection of the climate and the environment, by the end of 2021 the Federal Office for the Environment will indicate how the basis for calculation of ecological cycle assessments, energy consumption and footprints can be improved in the area of ICT technologies and services.
- Data spaces: shared data areas can create added value by enabling data to be used beyond its original intended purpose and through the creation of new forms of shared use. Switzerland must therefore promote access to trusted data spaces for people, businesses and the public sector. To this end, by the end of 2021 the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) and the Directorate of International Law in the FDFA, together with other participants, will draw up a basic report, which will indicate where there is a need for state action.
- The digital economy: by the end of 2022 the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs will update the "Framework Conditions for the Digital Economy” report. Special attention is being paid to the themes of the sharing economy, digital finance, research and development, trade relations and competition policy.
- Digital pubic service: OFCOM, in cooperation with other agencies of the federal administration, will produce a report on data-driven developments in the regulated network sectors by mid-2022. The focus of the considerations is the issue of whether there is a new need for regulation and what the role of the Confederation should be in the possible construction and operation of new, data-based infrastructures.
- Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic: digital applications have played a significant role in ensuring that Switzerland has largely continued to function during the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, weaknesses have been exposed in various areas of digitalisation. To ensure that Switzerland is better prepared for comparable future situations, by the end of 2021 OFCOM and the Federal Chancellery (FC) will indicate the potential for improvements in a report and will propose measures for the Confederation's digital policy. The analyses of all departments and the FC will be incorporated in the report.
With the reorganisation of digitalisation and ICT management in the federal administration and the appointment of Daniel Markwalder as the Federal Council's delegate for digital transformation and ICT management, the Business Office Digital Switzerland and its tasks in connection with the “Digital Switzerland” strategy will be transferred to the FC from 1 January 2021. The present strategy will be revised by the DTI within two years at the latest. In addition, close cooperation between the DTI and the newly created organization "Digital Administration Switzerland", jointly created by the federal government and the cantons, is being sought for the implementation and further development of the strategy.
Address for enquiries
Federal Office of Communications OFCOM
+41 58 460 55 50, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Federal Council
Federal Office of Communications
General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications; General Secretariat DETEC