Gerd Billen has been State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection since January 2014, where he is responsible for consumer protection policy. In the 18th legislative term, he was responsible for the Network Enforcement Act.
Having completed his degree in Social and Domestic Sciences at the University of Bonn, Billen started work in 1981 as a freelance journalist before becoming the Press Officer for the Federal Association of Environmental Action Groups (Bundesverband Bürgerinitiativen Umweltschutz).
From 1985 to 1991, Billen was National Chairman of the “Consumer Initiative” (Verbraucher Initiative e.V.). Then from 1991 to 2005, he guided the activities of the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) in his role as National Managing Director.
Starting in 2005, Billen headed the Environmental and Social Policies Division at the Otto Group. In 2007, he was appointed Executive Director of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband) which he headed for six years.
In the 19th legislative term, Mr Billen would like to particularly place an emphasis on digital issues, such as: How can algorithms and artificial intelligence benefit consumers? What rules do consumers need for products and companies in order to gain a sense of legitimate trust? How do we get to grips with learning machines?
During this legislative term he would also like to encourage civil society involvement in digital issues – including conditions for the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence, fair conduct in the internet, digital participation of all groups in society and preservation of data sovereignty.
Photo: Frank Nürnberger