Digitisation and media: Putting new technologies at the service of people and preserving media pluralism
The DP sees digitisation as a great opportunity for our society. We want to use the advancing digitisation in all areas of life and orient the digital transformation in favour of the people. The benefits of digitisation should be accessible to everyone. Therefore, the DP will take further measures for digital inclusion.
Under the leadership of the DP, the digitisation of public administrations has been significantly advanced, the ICT sector has been further developed, the connectivity of citizens has been improved and important progress has been made in the area of media literacy. In particular, the progress made in the digitisation of administrative procedures has met with great international acclaim. For example, Luxembourg improved from eleventh to an excellent third place in the European Commission’s “eGovernment Benchmark” within two years. This recognition spurs us on to digitalise as many administrative procedures as possible as quickly as possible within the framework of administrative simplification for citizens.
Today, fast and nationwide internet access, an open and transparent data policy and a comprehensive cyber security strategy create attractive framework conditions for national and international companies. We will continue to consistently expand this competitive advantage.
Media pluralism and freedom of the press are indispensable elements of a free democracy. The DP understands the importance of free journalistic work, as well as objective and transparent reporting, and has launched several reforms in recent years to preserve media pluralism. For example, with the new Press Assistance Act, editorial offices of print and on-line publications will receive even more support. New multi-year agreements with RTL, the public service radio 100.7 and the community radio ARA ensure that the audiovisual media in Luxembourg also have the necessary financial planning security for the coming years.
The great success of various Luxembourg film productions, also internationally, is proof that the local creative industry is alive and constantly evolving. As DP, we want to continue to strengthen our country as an audiovisual production centre in the future.
The DP advocates for powerful and freely available Wi-Fi in public spaces. We want to enable people to be in pedestrian zones, parks and other public places and communicate, work or access general information on-line at the same time.
DP wants to make public transport as pleasant and attractive as possible for passengers. Therefore, we will enable free internet on all national railway lines and stations, in buses, the tram and at stops.
We want to introduce a digital citizen card that will serve as an alternative means of identification both online and offline. Official identification documents such as identity cards, driving licences, etc. can be compiled on this digital citizen card. These can then be accessed and controlled by state or municipal authorities. The times of overfilled wallets should thus be a thing of the past.
DP wants to consistently expand the “once-only” principle. In future, citizens should only have to provide certain personal data of the state and municipal administration once instead of submitting it separately for each individual authority.
On the initiative of the Ministry of Digitalisation, the first national action plan for digital inclusion was created in 2021. This consists of 40 concrete initiatives, a whole series of which are intended for older citizens. We will work to ensure that the national action plan continues beyond 2024. We will ensure that sufficient funds continue to be made available in the future to promote a digital society for all.
The use of artificial intelligence offers many new opportunities to strengthen our economy and simplify the everyday lives of citizens. DP will continue to invest in research and in the commercialisation of new AI applications. We will clarify ethical issues in advance and also take the necessary measures to prevent all forms of data misuse and discrimination (“implicit bias”) that could arise from the use of artificial intelligence.
At the European level, we will also work for the implementation of the European “AI Act”, which regulates the use of artificial intelligence, thus guaranteeing the security and competitiveness of the EU’s digital single market.
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The European Court of Justice has ruled against general “data retention”, i.e. the possibility for the state to store electronic communications of private persons (e-mails, calls, …) preventively and without good reason for a certain period of time. For law enforcement, however, this data is sometimes the only source of evidence. That is why, in the case of serious crimes such as child abuse or terrorism, we rely on an exemption within the EU ban on “data retention”. The Quick Freeze model will thus ensure a balanced protection of private data and an effective fight against crime.
The demand for digital skills in the labour market is higher than ever. Nowadays, children are introduced to new technologies at an early age, whether at school or at home. However, there is still a large gap between the digital affinity of younger generations and many workers who did not receive extensive training in this area during their school years. To ensure that these individuals can meet the demands of the workplace, our goal is to provide them with digital skills. For this reason, we support comprehensive further training measures.
We will thoroughly examine and analyse the possibility of financing continuing education, similar to the model of continuing education vouchers in the Netherlands. In order to encourage re-skilling and up-skilling , this financial support should not only apply to education and training, but also to all digital courses.
The DP will specifically support municipalities in making their localities more efficient, progressive, environmentally friendly and socially inclusive with the help of digitisation. We will create financial incentives for this and co-finance innovative projects.
New legislative projects are to be tested for their digital suitability even before they come into force, in order to identify and improve any weaknesses in practical implementation. In this way, we avoid costs and tedious amendment procedures. With the goal of an efficient e-government strategy, we want to make our laws digitally user-friendly and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.
We will continue to invest in the security of state IT infrastructures. In addition, we want to protect data of private individuals even better against hacker attacks. According to the principle “security by design” security issues must be solved from the very beginning of the development of new software.
The DP will work to ensure that citizens, entrepreneurs and public authorities can understand what happens to the data they want to use cloud services for. The efforts in the area of a sovereign cloud infrastructure in Luxembourg are to be supported. This will create a competitive advantage over other European locations and further strengthen Luxembourg as an ICT location.
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The DP will strengthen Luxembourg’s on-line trade by removing existing obstacles. We will help small and medium-sized enterprises and young entrepreneurs in particular to establish themselves in on-line trade and thus secure a second foothold in the digital market.
in 2019, Luxembourg became the first country in the world to introduce blockchain in the public sector. As a result, the state’s IT processes have become more reliable, transparent and secure. We have also strengthened the legal security of blockchain technology in the financial sector. In the future, we will continue to promote research, development and education in this area to position Luxembourg as a European Blockchain Hub .
Since 2018, you no longer have to do without on-line services that you have paid for in your home country when travelling within the EU. However, some offers and protected content are excluded from this new regulation. To date, EU citizens cannot automatically access content from another Member State in their country.
We want to remove these barriers and call for a Europe-wide ban on geo-blocking. In addition, we want to regulate copyright in the audiovisual sector at the European level rather than at the national level.
There is great potential between the IT service providers of the public sector to create synergies that could simplify both the workflow within the administrations and the communication between the individual agencies. Further synergies could be created between SIGI, the data processing syndicate of the municipalities, and the state IT operator CTIE, up to and including institutionalised cooperation under joint management. We advocate for much closer cooperation between administrations. This is the only way to ensure the efficiency of e-government. Important dossiers involving the skills of several administrations could thus be processed more efficiently.
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In recent years, the MyGuichet.lu platform has been continuously developed and improved. In 2021, the MyGuichet app was also introduced, which allows citizens to conveniently complete administrative procedures via their tablet or smartphone. We are committed to continuing to improve the user-friendliness of MyGuichet.lu and to continually expand the range of administrative procedures on the platform.
At the same time, it is important to us to ensure the retention of a physical contact point. We will also explore the possibility of additional regional Guichet field offices.
The Rules of Procedure and Procedure for Small Claims Oral Proceedings in Criminal, Civil and Commercial Matters will in future allow for hearings via video conference, as is currently the case in Germany. In this way, we not only relieve the courts and accelerate proceedings, but also reduce costs and stress for those affected.
Since 2019, electronic invoicing for transactions between enterprises and the state (B2G) has been introduced in stages. With the goal of later application in the B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) sectors, we will inform companies about the advantages of this invoicing system and accompany them in the practical implementation.
We want to make our data centres as sustainable as possible with the help of energy-saving technologies and software. We will examine to what extent we can reduce water consumption, capture the waste heat produced and recycle waste even better. In addition, we will invest more in the development of sustainable information and communication technologies.
On the initiative of the Ministry of Digitalisation, legislation for electronic signatures in administrative matters was launched in 2022. Just as with the state, electronic signatures should also be able to be used at the municipal level. This facilitates the work of the municipal administrations and will contribute to administrative simplification.
Luxembourg has made significant investments in its mobile and fixed digital infrastructures in recent years. DP will continue to keep investments in this area high. We are committed to the nationwide expansion of 5G technology and the fibre optic network.
Artificial intelligence is increasingly gaining influence and importance. The DP wants to closely accompany this development. By launching an AI Centre of Excellence, the DP aims to bring together stakeholders from economy, education and academia to analyse how we as a society can best benefit from new technologies.
In the context of the Digital Decade, Europe has set itself a policy programme with digital goals and objectives until 2030 to continue the digital transformation in Europe. Luxembourg is already preparing for some initiatives. DP is committed to continuing to consistently support the digital transformation in and for Luxembourg.
After public service employees have had access to the chat application LuxGov4Chat since the middle of the year, the DP wants to make this means of communication accessible to businesses and the entire population.
The development of the satellite industry in Luxembourg has become much more important in recent years. In addition to the large stakeholders like SES, many new and interesting start-ups have also established themselves in Luxembourg. This sector is also growing into a long-term geopolitical, economic and strategically important market element, as well as a scientific and research sector, which brings guarantees of success and future for the Luxembourg location in terms of satellite services.
The DP is therefore committed to ensuring that Luxembourg’s satellite industry and related service sector continue to develop strongly, attracting, training and developing related talent. The government’s industrial and investment policy will be maintained at a high level, with state investments serving as targeted support for local industry. The latter with the help of targeted and sustainable activities of government funding programmes of Luxinnovation, the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), the University of Luxembourg as well as other institutions. This increased clustering in Luxembourg of aeronautics and space cannot be achieved without an increased involvement of the defence sector in this economic segment, which allows Luxembourg to play an increasingly key role in the development and positioning of the country in space. A central coordination function between economic interests and defence requirements will strengthen and expand this cooperation.
The DP advocates open and transparent communication between state administrations and journalists. The ‘Circulaire Bettel’ was revised to improve press access to information from the authorities and administrations. The DP will analyse to what extent access to information for the press can be enshrined in law according to the international model.
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Press relations were revalorised through the reform of the Press Assistance Act. The profession of journalist is to be clearly defined in a further step. The DP therefore advocates that the profession of journalists and the framework conditions for their activities be laid down in a law.
inn. De Beruff vum Journalist soll an enger weiderer Etapp kloer definéiert ginn. D’DP wëll dofir de Beruff vum Journalist an d’Kaderbedingunge vun der Aarbecht als Journalist an engem Gesetz festhalen.
The DP will better protect journalists from increased physical violence and intimidation by introducing so-called ‘SLAPP suits’ (abusive form of legal action against the media). The DP advocates that physical and moral violence as well as other criminal offences against press representatives continue to be consistently prosecuted in the future.
Since the beginning of the year until mid-2023, press aid expenditure was 43% higher than the previous year at €6.7 million. By shifting the focus to journalistic work, press relations are re-evaluated. In addition, the number of publications that can draw on this financial support has been increased, so that a total of 18 publications from 14 different publishers now benefit from press assistance. The DP will continue to maintain a high level of support for professional journalistic work and preserve media pluralism in Luxembourg. After an in-depth evaluation of the new Press Assistance Act, it is to be adapted in cooperation with those affected, if necessary.
The DP is committed to consistently continuing the nationwide introduction of the DAB+ transmission system initiated by the Minister of Media. DAB+ is intended to provide greater geographical coverage, guarantee nationwide coverage with better sound quality and thus enrich the radio offering in Luxembourg. In order to relieve local broadcasters financially during the switch-over, DP will support them in financing their offerings via DAB+.
The European Union is striving for a digital decade. The digital transformation is unmistakable and is advancing with great strides. The Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Media Freedom Act are sets of rules that will regulate the digital world and media in the future. The DP is committed not only to having a say at European level, but also to taking the necessary steps now to pave the way for the new era. In this context, the electronic media and the skills of the national media regulator ‘Autorité Luxembourgeoise Indépendante de l’Audiovisuel‘ (ALIA) are also to be reviewed and reformed.
In Europe, about 80 million people have impaired vision or hearing. This corresponds to about ten percent of the entire European population. Luxembourg has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability. For example, the National Information and Press Office is committed to making its website accessible. The DP is committed to providing everyone with access to media and information. Every citizen should also be able to understand the media. To this end, the conventions with RTL and public service radio 100.7 also provide accessibility criteria that meet the requirements of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) .
As a decentralised and cross-border medium, the internet enables the rapid spread of false information and illegal content. With the BEE Secure Helpline and Stopline, there are already possibilities in Luxembourg to take action against false, illegal or dangerous content. The DP wants to make the internet a safer place. A special focus is on children and young people, whose protection is also of the highest priority on the internet. The DP also wants to help develop concrete measures at the European and international level, and further support cooperation between countries in the fight against illegal content and misinformation.
Award-winning co-productions and Luxembourg series successes have contributed to the Luxembourg film industry’s growing reputation over the past few years. In fact, the profile of Luxembourg’s creative industry has grown steadily. The DP recognises the great potential of Luxembourg as a film location. In addition to bilateral agreements with various countries, the DP is committed to using the momentum to support the Luxembourg film sector, with national and international co-productions, and to further promote Luxembourg’s media and cultural landscape.
The DP will amend the legal framework of the ‘Film Fund Luxembourg’ in accordance with the proposals of the Court of Auditors so that the structures and procedures within the Film Fund are clearly and transparently regulated.
Once created to promote cohesion between nations, the Eurovision Song Contest is now an international competition that brings together musicians, artists and cultural figures on an international stage year after year. The ESC is gaining in popularity and has become a symbol of international understanding and cultural coming together over the years. Our country has a lot to offer both on a cultural and artistic level. The DP therefore supports the government’s plan to have Luxembourg participate in the Eurovision Song Contest again after a break of more than 30 years.