Analytical study for the Association for Self-Regulation Information EconomyKey Points of a Digital Regulatory Policy

Project period:
May 2014 – May 2015

Association for Self-Regulation Information Economy (Selbstregulierung Informationswirtschaft e.V. - SRIW)

Project partner:
Prof. Dr. Gerald Spindler (University of Göttingen)

The increasing digitalisation of our societies and the economy not only raises the question which legal framework is needed to accompany this development, but also which instruments are needed to develop this framework and how it can be effectively enforced.

Together with Prof Dr Gerald Spindler (University of Göttingen) and on behalf of the Association for Self-Regulation Information Economy (SRIW), ConPolicy analyzed what particular challenges regulatory approaches face in the information society, what are the advantages and disadvantages of different regulatory approaches and which courses of action result.

The study is based on research findings on governance issues, national and international experiences with co- and self-regulation as well as an analysis of the legal literature and case law. 

The study arrives at the following results:

  • Alternative regulatory approaches such as co-regulation should be considered more than they have been previously as possible regulatory alternatives. It is not about replacing legal regulations, but complementing and substantiating them.
  • Co-regulation requires, however, a regulatory framework to be effective. This should be developed as part of an inter-ministerial working group.
  • This regulatory framework has to consider minimum requirements for standard setting and enforcement as well as appropriate framework conditions.
  • The incentives for co-regulation should be increased. These should include both economic and regulatory incentives as well as a cultural change in state institutions and enterprises.
  • These framework conditions should especially be considered in the context of data protection law, consumer protection law, IT security law, copyright law, telemedia law and in the area of e-commerce. 

Interim results of the study were presented on 25 September 2014 at an SRIW event. On the 13th of May 2015 the subject was then discussed by Gerd Billen (State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection), Dr Günter Krings (Parliamentary Secretary to the German Federal Minister of the Interior), Renate Künast, (Chairwoman of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection of the German Bundestag), Harald Lemke (Chairman of the SRIW) and Patrick von Braunmühl (Director of the SRIW).    

The publication can be found here.

Project of

Christian Thorun

Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun Managing Director

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