Democracy and Government

The government wants to stimulate the development of the `electronic highway' to create a competitive position in the information and telecommunications technology.

Technological policies

For a long time, the Netherlands has not concerned itself with information technology, while this proved to be a fast growing industry. Representatives of the Dutch library system also expressed their concerns on information policies to the new government members. The politicians are starting to see the importance of the digital highway. The new goverment agreement states the following intention:

The VVD (right wing party) has launched the Highway Platform Nederland (EPN). Politicians and companies will research what possibilities exist to experiment with the digital highway. As big example they use the Time Warner project in Orlando.

On 29 November 1994, Secretary of state for Internal Affairs Kohnstamm lectured at three universities on information technology.

The Netherlands government realised more and more that they had to do something and in December 1994 came with the National Action Plan Electronic Highways. The government wants to stimulate the development of the digital highway. They want to do this specifically by creating the right conditions, which companies and organisations subsequently can employ.

At the same time, a report has been presented to the minister of Transport by the Commission of Advice concerning Post and Telecommunication, collated in the framework of the National Telecommunication Initiative.

Rathenau institute

The Rathenau institute [NL] (previously NOTA) is studying the influence of technology onto the society. This is presented e.g. by studies and reports to the parliament.

An agenda has been compiled with the purpose of widening of the public debate on the future of the telecommunications. Not only will the economic and technical aspects by elaborated upon, but also the social, legal and cultural aspects.

Which questions and problems are raised by the introduction of the information society in regards to the Netherlands parliamentary democracy. This question was the basis for a compilation of speeches, studies and essays. The compilation "Orwell or Athena" has served as source for the reports in which a picture is drawn from the perspective of the parliament. For legal information, like the ban on cryptography, see the Legal page.