September 2021 is the time of the political re-entry with the presidential election 2022 in sight, and, despite the heavy climate imposed by the pandemic which does not end, we must be interested in crucial subjects for the future of our country. If there are many subjects that will be in the minds of our future candidates, it seems to me and a number of us think that digital technology and more particularly digital sovereignty is unfortunately not at the heart of this campaign!
Why digital sovereignty is not an option?
Everyone agrees that digital transformation, with its technical innovations such as the Cloud, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, the block chain and now quantum computing, is the industrial revolution of the 21st century.
The pandemic crisis has also accelerated the digital transformation of the world of work and the economy, forcing even local shops to convert to “Click & Collect” as a matter of urgency. As many things have been done in a hurry, it is the American digital giants that have massively benefited from the opportunity, even if for all our national players a strong growth has been observed.
It is clear that the society we are heading towards, apart from the ecological challenges that we will not mention as the main subject in this article, will be digitized, I would say virtualized to the extreme, with all the opportunities that this represents, but also all the associated risks, all the more so if a major part of the value chain of this new industry escapes us.
Digital sovereignty is therefore a key element to build our society of tomorrow, while preserving our culture and our particularities. I would like to remind you that too much standardization, as in agriculture, leads to increased vulnerability to geopolitical threats, cybercrime, etc.…
Defending #DigitalSovereignty means protecting the jobs and skills needed for tomorrow’s industrial revolution.
Defending #DigitalSovereignty means protecting our way of life, our culture by refusing American or Chinese cultural imperialism. We have our particularities which are our wealth, even if they annoy our allies.
Defending the #DigitalSovereignty is also about ensuring our geostrategic and commercial independence, we will not be dependent on the unilateral decisions of a superpower, ally or not.
Defending #DigitalSovereignty is finally investing in the future, but it also means finding innovative and eco-responsible technological solutions.
Dear presidential candidates, what should you take into considération?
To guarantee our #DigitalSovereignty, which is an essential pillar of our sovereignty as a French nation, you must include the following elements in your program:
- Strengthen the National Education system, in order to stop the decline in the level of mathematics teaching. Digital transformation, this new industrial revolution, is built on knowledge.
- Include in school curricula, starting in primary school, courses on digital technology, its uses, its risks, the legislative environment around it (data protection, etc…)
- Impose on all schools and universities the use of sovereign or Open-source solutions, ban the generalized use of #Microsoft, and #Google office suites. Getting our young people used to using sovereign solutions throughout their curriculum will also allow them to be future prescribers of these solutions.
- Reinforce public research budgets and strengthen collaborations with the private sector, because the next innovations will come from fundamental research and industry.
- Invest in our industry, especially on the processor and sensor side, because it is also thanks to technological innovations that great advances are made.
- In order to support an existing and rich ecosystem, it is important to direct part of the public digital equipment investments to our French digital actors (get closer to the #PlayFranceDigital collective). Our proposal is to reserve 50% of the public order to French actors.
- Impose for all the data of the administrations, health policy, and defense industry a sovereign hosting, and not a trusted cloud that keeps us dependent on American technologies.
- Impose that all public purchases, whether sovereign or not, be paid for in euros! This commonsense measure will protect us from American extraterritorial laws. Let’s make sure that these good practices are also applied in the business world and in the large groups of the cac40.
- In order to counterbalance the marketing firepower of #GAFAM or #BATX, propose information campaigns on good practices in the use of digital tools for the protection of our citizens’ data.
- Study the feasibility of a law text, preventing the free internet services, for all other economic sectors the sale at a loss, this distortion of competition is forbidden.
In order to carry out these key measures which are essential in order to regain our sovereignty, if it is necessary to amend, or to get out of certain international treaties, in particular European ones, we must not hesitate, the future of our country depends on it.
This call may seem to some people outdated or obsolete, but it represents a real challenge for the future of our country, and not only on the digital. The impacts of these proposals go far beyond digital. These are only the proposals that appeared to me as the most important, however there are many other subjects that the digital transformation of our society shakes up. Democratic, ecological and industrial issues, dear candidates, whatever your political orientation, these are crucial issues for our future. The possibility that we can continue to count in the world of tomorrow is within your reach! Rely on the rich ecosystem of French entrepreneurs.