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EU Digital frontrunner countries meet in Amsterdam to discuss our digital future

Irish delegation led by Minister Pat Breen TD

Pat Breen TD, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection is leading an Irish delegation to the Digital 9+ (D9) meeting taking place today in Amsterdam. The meeting will be attended by Ministers from other EU member states.

The D9 group is made up of digital frontrunner countries comprising Ireland and Nordic, Benelux and Baltic states. Its focus is on delivering strategic oversight on the optimal application of digital policy and on acting as a forum for exchange of best practice. The meeting will discuss issues including the challenges of Digital Society today, with a particular focus on online platforms.

Speaking prior to the meeting, Minister Breen said: “Digitisation is increasing on a vast scale and Ireland has long been recognised as a digital front runner within the EU. In addition to difference it makes to our everyday lives, digitisation provides huge economic opportunities. I am firmly of the view that a stronger and more coherent Digital Single Market is essential to boost jobs and economic growth in all regions across Europe, to open new growth opportunities for our SMEs and to ensure our global competitiveness”

The EU Digital Single Market Strategy has the goal of adapting our current Single Market rules to reflect the realities of a twenty-first century digital environment. The Strategy is made up of a wide range of initiatives, comprising cross-Government legislative and non-legislative measures, that support three key pillars:

• Simplifying access to digitisation for consumers and business
• Shaping the environment for digital networks and services to flourish, and
• Maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.

Minister Breen added “Our active engagement in the Digital Single Market is an enabler of Ireland’s Digital Economy. The D9 Group provides an important forum through which the best practice and knowledge of like-minded member countries can be shared to greater effect”.

He added: “Last year, I was delighted to welcome my Ministerial counterparts to Dublin for what was a very successful meeting of the D9+ Group. In the same year, Ireland also moved up to 6th position on the Digital Economy and Society Index , reflecting the huge advances that have been made in recent years. I am committed to further advancing Ireland’s position as one of the most digitally progressive societies in the EU”.


Further information:

The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index that summarises five relevant indicators (Connectivity, Human Capital / Digital skills, Use of Internet by citizens, Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, Digital Public Services) on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness.

The DESI index shows that Ireland is ranked highly as one of the most advanced digital economy in the EU. Ireland ranks very highly when it comes to the integration of digital technologies by businesses, mostly because many SMEs embraced e-commerce. Internet users increasingly take advantage of high-speed infrastructures and also make good use of online public services.

Ireland is ranked first in Europe in 4 of 34 indicators, namely:

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates
  • SMEs Selling Online
  • eCommerce Turnover
  • SMEs Online Cross-border

Online platforms cover a wide range of activities including online marketplaces, social media and creative content outlets, application distribution platforms, price comparison websites, platforms for the collaborative economy as well as online general search engines.

The European Commission published a Proposal for an EU Regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services in April 2018, which was formally agreed by European co-legislators on 20 February 2019.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation, or (01) 631 2200

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