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Additional support for the "1% digital solidarity principle" Print E-mail
President of the NGO Global Cities Dialogue, André Santini is Deputy Mayor of Issy-les-Moulineaux and a staunch defender of digital solidarity in France, and is an activist for a fair, inclusive and dynamic information society.

Mr Santini, the nation State has played a determining role in the development of the industrial society. Is it also the ideal vehicle for shaping the information society ?

In my opinion the State is not the most appropriate level for building the information society. Rather, I feel its role is to promote the implementation of regulations that provide a stable and innovative legal framework for all stakeholders concerned, wherein civil society and local communities have a major role to play. In the cities, for example, now home to the majority of inhabitants of the planet, it is easier to bring all the men and women together who wish to contribute to reducing the digital divide.

The digital divide marginalizes the developing countries in respect of globalization. Does the "1% digital solidarity principle" offer a response to this challenge?

The "1% digital solidarity principle" is one response to the challenge we face to combat the digital divide. While not the only one, it can resolve emergency situations and, above all, create a force in favour of technological progress in the developing countries. It is impossible to watch the digital divide widening without reacting, and we need to support all initiatives that will make the information society become a fair society.

The "1% digital solidarity principle" commits public authorities to introduce a digital solidarity clause in their ICT related calls for bids. What do you intend to do to help it be adopted at the local, national, European, and who knows even global level ?

The fight against the digital divide is one of the priorities of discussions between the 200 cities that make up the "Global Cities Dialogue" network, which aims to create a worldwide dialogue between cities on the information society. We are also working on a cooperation charter with the world Digital Solidarity Agency. As mayor of Issy-les- Moulineaux, I organized a collection of used computers, and we shall recondition some of the twelve tons collected to provide disadvantaged families with IT equipment. Lastly, I have assured Gérard Collomb, the senator and mayor of Lyon, of my support for an Act of Parliament authorizing local authorities to include in their calls for bids the possibility of devoting 1% to digital solidarity.

It is particularly gratifying that this project should go hand in glove with the spirit of the "Oudin-Santini law" allowing local authorities to earmark up to 1% of their budget to international solidarity actions devoted to the issue of water.

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