A new government: Time for Digital Affairs?


The European battle against tech giants is well under way. Several major laws, such as the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), will become reality for EU member states in the coming period. These acts are expected to have considerable impact on digital technology and activity throughout the European Union. But what about the Netherlands, so soon after the parliamentary elections?

Although the Netherlands is doing well compared to our European counterparts when it comes to digitization, collectively we are losing out to innovation giants in the US and China. To remain relevant in relation to these world powers, Europe must be able to level the playing field. And that requires action at the national and European level. Practically every party recognizes this.

Holland 2.0?

What can we expect from the Hague concerning ‘digital affairs’ in the next four years? A good amount, driven by Brussels with the DSA and the DMA. Not likely, but possible: a minister (or someone) for Digital Affairs. Also on the agenda:  Will there be an approach to the market position of ‘Big Tech’? Will a new government introduce direct taxation for digital products? Or will private data-ownership be introduced? Will we ban facial recognition applications? We hear a enough talk, but unequivocal answers – let alone solutions – are yet to be found. A digital ballot agreement signed by a minority in the house can act as a guide, but how much will become reality?

Opportunities abound

Although ambiguity remains, there is also a positive flipside. After all, experience has shown that new members of parliament in particular generally like to learn more about aspects they are involved in but do not know everything about. This is an excellent opportunity for innovative entrepreneurs to enter into discussion with politicians, but also with the civil service in the Hague. There are large (and growing) European and Dutch subsidies that our government wants to use to, among other.

Besides digital technologies however, there are also many other complex developments (Key or Emerging Technologies) that hunting these subsidies and the valuable time of ministers, politicians and other influential stakeholders in the Hague to shape (often not yet existing) laws and regulations. Think, for example, of photonics, quantum computing, and advanced robotics. Now is the time to talk to each other. To learn from each other. That makes a sound public affairs strategy important. Do you want to know what we can do for your organization? Please contact Jacques Bettelheim, Partner and Director Public Affairs.

Photo (Binnenhof) by Error 420 from Unspash.

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