Regardless of when the next German federal government is formed, one of its most important tasks will be setting the course for digital Transformation. The need for a high-capacity infrastructure with a well-developed broadband network is just as great as that to clarify legal issues regarding data protection, IT security, and contract and liability law.
Even in the final days of Germany’s grand coalition, the further regulation of the labor market has repeatedly got pulses racing – both among supporters from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and trade unions, as well as those who wish to retain the (already narrowed) scope afforded to companies.
The election campaign is underway! Election campaign? Recently, in the press but also in Berlin, there has been relatively little to suggest that at the end of September we will be electing a new parliament and determining the next government. Hardly any topic lasts longer than three days; there has been no top topic for the election campaign to date.
If Germany intends to use the transformation driven by digitalization in the coming years for innovation, growth and employment, then policy-makers must – irrespective of who is in government – also ensure that the right framework conditions are in place after the German election in September.
There is currently a great deal of speculation about the future of work. The prophecies range from horror scenarios of mass unemployment to fantasies of a land of plenty in which machines do all the work and people live in a kind of amusement park. Both extremes seem unlikely.
Today, I would like to shed some light on another important aspect: Within the framework provided by the legislative power and by the economic conditions, the future of work will be shaped very much in a dialogue between employees and employers – and this dialogue will be led to a large degree by their representatives: unions and employers’ associations.