ELI President Joins Advisory Board Digital Switzerland Strategy for 2023


ELI President advocates for an adaptable legal framework tailored to the demands of the digital era.

ELI President, Pascal Pichonnaz, played a pivotal role in advising Switzerland's key decision-makers during an event in Bern on 20 November 2023. At this forum, he contributed significantly as a member of the advisory board, offering insights to the Minister of Justice, Federal Chancellor, Director of the Federal Office of Justice and other high-ranking officials responsible for Switzerland's Digital Strategy.

Emphasising the need for a dynamic and adaptable framework, Pichonnaz advocated for the necessity of a flexible framework, which might be a mix of soft law principles and, when needed, legislative measures to ensure a higher degree of adaptability. Joined by Swiss Parliament members, industry leaders, civil society representatives and academics, he addressed a round-table discussion centered on 'digital-friendly legislation.' This round-table, convened at the invitation of Federal Councillor Elisabeth Baume-Schneider, Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr, and Michael Schöll, the Director of the Federal Office of Justice, highlighted the pressing requirement for legal frameworks tailored to the digital era, aligning with the 2023 Digital Switzerland Strategy.

The discussions underscored the Federal Council's commitment to crafting regulations conducive to digitalization while safeguarding fundamental rights. The focus remained on fostering innovation for Swiss economic prosperity while ensuring the symbiotic relationship between AI and human beings. There was an exploration of the need for new regulations and the suitability of hard law versus principles in adapting to a rapidly changing environment.

Pichonnaz commended Switzerland's acknowledgment of the challenges brought by digital transformation while highlighting its potential to enhance prosperity and democracy. Echoing Federal Councillor Baume-Schneider's sentiments, he stressed the importance of safety, security and trust within the digital landscape, while placing humans at the center of interactions.

The Digital Switzerland Advisory Board serves as a pivotal forum for federal council members and diverse sector representatives to deliberate on digital transformation issues. These strategic meetings, organized by the Digital Transformation and ICT Governance Division of the Federal Chancellery, complement the Federal Council's Committee on Digitalisation and ICT.