【今期香港马报资料投注_今期香港马报资料投注官网】Germany's Merkel convenes digital council on new technologies

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BERLIN, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- A newly-established council of experts has convened for the first time in Germany on Wednesday to advise Chancellor Angela Merkel's government on issues surrounding digitalization.

The council, which is made up of academics and business representatives, is scheduled to meet with Merkel and other members of her cabinet at least twice a year.

"We have been appointed to advise the federal government, to prompt it, and to support it (on digital matters)," former McKinsey consultant and acting council president Katrin Suder told press.

Suder will be joined in the digital forum by the Fraunhofer Institute e-governance expert Peter Parycek, Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), New York University professor Beth Simone Noveck, Urs Gasser, director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and Hagen University principal Ada Pellert.

The creation of the council came in response to the publication of several studies which have warned that Berlin is lagging behind other European and international governments with regards to the provision of related infrastructure and the willingness of officials to embrace new technologies.

Addressing the public on her personal podcast recently, Merkel said that she looked forward to a "lively exchange" between her cabinet and the digital advisors.

She described the council as an "influential panel" which would motivate the government to improve on its records as well as raising difficult questions about the challenges posed to society by digitalization.

Nevertheless, Free Democratic party (FDP) deputy faction leader Frank Sitta criticized the creation of the council on Wednesday as still being insufficient to close digital gap between Germany and other countries.

"What our country needs is a digital ministry with clear and far-reaching responsibilities instead of another toothless committee that merely talks about digitalization," Sitta said.