Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, has appointed Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost as Germany's Digital Champion in the context of the EU's Digital Agenda initiative. The initiative aims to recruit selected individuals who will, on an honorary basis, campaign in their various member states for better access to digital technologies and services, promote media skills and give advice to the European Commission on targeted measures.

Federal Minister Gabriel said: "I cannot imagine a better Digital Champion for Germany than Gesche Joost. I am therefore delighted that she has accepted my request to be available to the European Commission as an honorary and independent adviser."

The Digital Champions body is particularly intended to give as many people as possible the opportunity to make use of digital media and the internet. There is clearly a need to act, since around 25-30% of the population of the EU still make only occasional use, if any, of the internet.

The national champions are to work together with municipalities, businesses and governments to promote digital skills in education and to strengthen the provision of more networked services, e.g. in the field of health, energy and transport. They will share the successful approaches to tackling the issue which the various member states are taking. Also, the Digital Champions will be advising the European Commission on implementing the Digital Agenda for Europe.