The Digital Republic bill - Overview

Digital technologies and their uses are the driving force behind radical changes to our economy, redrawing the boundaries of public and private spheres and reshaping social interactions. The repercussions of these changes are now all-encompassing and are mapping out tomorrow’s society. Twenty-first century France must embrace digital technology, prepare for future developments, take up all the opportunities and shape a society that embodies the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity.

A ground-breaking online consultation will be launched on Saturday 26 September

A new experience

This is the first time that there will be an open and interactive online consultation on government legislation before it is submitted to the Conseil d’Etat (French Supreme Administrative Court) and adopted by the Cabinet.


Everyone will have the chance to provide their input on the legislation during this three-week consultation. Contributors will be able to comment on the text’s articles and suggest amendments which will, in turn, be open to remarks from Internet users.

Changing the Bill

Once they have been studied, some of the proposals may make their way into the Digital Republic bill. The government will clearly outline the amendments made to the legislation following the consultation for easier follow-up.

Official Government Responses

The government will also officially reply to those suggestions which were the most popular amongst Internet users. The originators of the top three contributions will meet with the Minister of State for Digital Affairs to explain their proposals in greater detail.


The consultation will be kick-started by a law-making fab lab involving trainee lawyers specialising in digital law, in conjunction with universities and law schools.




Wider data and knowledge dissemination

Both innovation and economic expansion are strongly driven by open data from public or private sources, or from all Internet users. Open data aids the democratic process and injects vitality into society. As a result, the Digital Republic bill is geared towards bolstering and broadening the open data policy introduced by the government and setting out the framework for a true data-oriented public service.
Tomorrow’s Digital Republic will also open up data of general interest to widen the scope of public and private data available to everyone to use in the public interest. It will foster the rapid emergence of a knowledge-based economy through freer access to public-sector research.  


Equal rights for Internet users

In a true Digital Republic, the Internet and its main services should not be the preserve of the most powerful. This is why the principle of net neutrality will be written into the act to ensure equal content dissemination on the network. Upholding platform fairness will require the online intermediaries, such as search engines and commercial websites, to provide fair, unambiguous and transparent information as to how they list and rank the content and services which they host.   

The privacy of all users must also be guaranteed. They must have unfettered and easy access to their data and be able to recover, on request, the emails, files and data stored with online mail services or data hosting websites. 

All users should also have a right to digital death to consciously specify how they wish their personal data to be used after their death.


Fraternity through an inclusive digital society

Access to the Internet and its services is now a prerequisite for inclusion, career paths and social lives. In the future, as paperless procedures increase, having an Internet connection will be as essential in terms of access to rights as having a fixed address. As Internet access for all epitomises the Republican notions of solidarity and the inclusion of citizens, it will be one of the mainstays of the Digital Republic bill.

Access for the disabled to various telephone-based services and to the websites of the government and large businesses will be made mandatory to ensure their digital inclusion. 

Lastly, the Digital Republic bill will introduce a connection entitlement so that Internet access will be maintained for families experiencing financial hardship. 

See the Explanatory Memorandum of the Bill