Cornerstones of a Swiss Digital and Data Policy

Date 18/01/2023 - 18/07/2023
Type Policy
Author Matthias Finger

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the modern knowledge society, data has emerged as a crucial raw material. To harness its potential, the European Union (EU) is actively shaping its digital policy, aiming for a digital single market and enhanced competitiveness. In response, this project proposes a Swiss digital policy, emphasizing data policy within the EU’s digital policy framework.

The approach involves conceptualizing data and digital value creation, assessing existing European and Swiss digital policy initiatives, and outlining recommendations for a Swiss data policy. The economic imperative for action lies in preventing market failure resulting from exclusive data usage. Regulatory instruments such as standardization, interoperability, transparency, access, data protection, and user rights are essential, requiring a context-specific approach.

Comparing initiatives, Switzerland lacks a centralized coordinating institution like the EU’s DG Connect. While EU policies address transparency regulations, user rights, and the regulation of online platforms, Switzerland’s initiatives lack coordination. Recognizing Switzerland’s room for maneuver, the project suggests a national, cross-sectoral digital and data policy, allowing for sector-specific supplementation and potential expansion beyond EU initiatives.

The recommendations include defining the direction of Swiss digital policy, establishing an overarching structure with a federal-level central body, and determining priorities. Swift action is urged to keep pace with EU digitalization efforts, emphasizing the need for standardized terminology, strategic development, and a decision on regulating large online platforms. The project aims to guide Switzerland in navigating the evolving digital landscape while ensuring its unique policy priorities and economic interests.


This project was undertaken in cooperation with Swiss Economics.


The final report can be downloaded here.