France’s international digital strategy, presented by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs on 15 December 2017, serves both as a framework and roadmap for the coming years. It is centred around three key focuses: governance, the economy and security.
Digital technology is now a key issue for France’s foreign policy and public action as a whole, be it for the success of France’s economy in the global competitive sphere or for conditions of stability, security and power on a global scale.
These changes carry with them the risk of a deregulated, dangerous and closed digital sphere and as such it is time for France to define the principles for digital technology that it wishes to see succeed around the world. To achieve this, France must promote a model which is faithful to its values.
This model opposes the trends of compartmentalization, control of networks and destabilization which we are currently witnessing. Furthermore, this model does not resemble the model supported by large American and Chinese tech firms, it aims to provide greater protection by ensuring fundamental rights are respected, by supporting the principle of loyalty and by defending fair competition and taxation.
It is with this context in mind that the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has drawn up France’s International Digital Strategy (.pdf, in French). It has done so in consultation with all administrations concerned and by opening up its text to public consultation. The Strategy is focused on three key pillars: governance, the economy and security.
It represents a reference framework and diplomatic roadmap for the years ahead. This document enables France to promote a world which associates freedom and respect for standards. This world is situated in a European context as only the European Union has the ability to incarnate and convey this vision on the world’s stage.