Q2/2019 - OECD

Meeting of the OECD Ministerial Council - Paris, 22 – 23 May 2019

The annual meeting of the OECD Ministerial Council on 22 to 23 May 2019 focussed on digitisation issues. With the compilation of an OECD recommendation on the development and application of artificial intelligence the OECD Going Digital Summit in March 2019 had rendered the essential preparatory work. The recommendation was adopted by the meeting of the OECD Ministerial Council. This has made the OECD one of the main drivers for establishing political and legal framework conditions for the development of artificial intelligence. The text of the recommendation was drafted in close consultation with the G20 countries. At the subsequent G20 summit in Osaka at the end of June 2019, the content of the OECD recommendation was fully endorsed by the attendants.

In his opening speech, OECD Secretary-General José Angel Gurria pointed out that digitisation was one of the OECD’s key issues. At the same time, he drew attention to the contradiction inherent in digitisation: Providing unprecedented opportunities on the one hand, digitisation also went along with considerable risks. The OECD had to address these to ensure that digitisation brought more benefits than harm to people. Opportunities had to be maximised, while the risks needed to be reduced to minimum level.[1]

The OECD program "Going Digital" is now entering its second phase. Next to the further development of artificial intelligence, it will focus in particular on a global digital tax, the role of online platforms and the next generation of digital innovation.


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  1. [1] 2019 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, Opening remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, Paris, 22 May 2019: „The digital revolution is opening unprecedented opportunities to achieve this transformation. At the same time, however, digitalisation is also creating disruption and bringing new challenges for policymakers. Digitalisation can facilitate start-ups and competition, yet business dynamism in OECD economies has weakened and market concentration has risen. Digital technologies make it easier to diffuse know-how, yet the diffusion of innovation seems to have slowed. The digital transformation is creating ever-greater needs for re-skilling and up-skilling, yet we find that those most exposed to disruption are least likely to receive training. Digitalisation also raises questions about security, privacy and data governance, consumer protection and child safety, and again, the issues of competition and market concentration. It challenges policymakers to examine whether the existing tools and frameworks in these areas are still adequate.” See: http://www.oecd.org/about/secretary-general/opening-remarks-2019-ministerial-council-meeting-opening-remarks-paris-may-2019.htm>