He is considered the first minister to be brought down by the internet: karl-theodor zu guttenberg. The fact that the former german defense minister, of all people, had been asked to advise the EU commission on questions of internet freedom caused amused head-scratching in brussel. For almost two years now, the CSU man has been sitting on his advisory post. But apart from the first joint press conference with EU digital commissioner neelie kroes, guttenberg did not show his face in brussel again. His mission remains nebulous.
Anyone who goes in search of clues in the EU capital is quickly disappointed. No office, no staff, not even a mailbox: karl-theodor zu guttenberg seems to carry out his work well protected from prying eyes behind the scenes of the eu institutions. And while many a journalist is already predicting the quiet end of this strange personality, the EU commission is trying to clear up the fog. "There is endless misinformation about the work of karl-theodor zu guttenberg", sues ryan heath, spokesman for commissioner kroes. The bavarian has never been paid a cent for his work. In addition, guttenberg is not an official advisor to the EU commission, but is only active at the personal request of the digital commissioner. For this he has "dozens of meetings" to implement the two "no disconnect" strategies and "cybersecurity to advance, heath affirms.
Travel and subsistence expenses of 20.000 euro
However, it is not known with whom the dashing baron met and where. Even in the european parliament, people are wondering about zu guttenberg's remaining. They also wanted to know more about the ex-minister's internet mission. SPD deputy jens geier therefore took the opportunity a few months ago to ask the secretary general of the eu commission, catherine day, for information during a budgetary control meeting. She could not disclose details, after all, guttenberg "sensitive language with participants from dangerous countries or situations", the irishwoman.
But they were more open about the financial information. Guttenberg has travel and subsistence costs of around 20 euros for his mission.000 euros from the EU commission. A snap, the authorities think. Because if commission officials had done the job, it would have been much more expensive, ryan heath calculates. Then you had to pay additionally the owners of the site.
With "no disconnect the EU wants to stand up for internet freedom in the future and support activists, be it in the arab world, in russia or in china. Anyone still wondering about the transformation of the former CSU secretary-general into a net activist should take a look at another prominent example. Six years ago, hardly anyone had expected that the man known as a "file fanatic" would become the edmund stoiber is going to become the supreme EU bureaucracy manager. Today, his zeal is almost unstoppable. Guttenberg can still do it.