The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. will today meet with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel.
Minister Breen will be in Brussels to attend a meeting of EU Single Market and Industry Ministers at which a range of issues related to EU Competitiveness, including the digitisation of the EU Economy, the 25th anniversary of the Single Market and EU Industrial Policy, will be discussed.
Speaking ahead of his meeting with Commissioner Gabriel, Minister Breen said he would be emphasising Ireland’s commitment to the digital agenda and, in particular, to the pursuit of the EU Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy. Minister Breen said:
“Digitisation is increasing on a vast scale and Ireland continues to be regarded as one of the EU’s digital frontrunners. We fully support the overall DSM agenda and the Government sees obvious synergies between digital policy initiatives at EU level and national policy.”
“In particular, we want to underline the benefits to Small and Medium Enterprises that the DSM will bring in terms of market access and opportunities for growth. In helping to progress the DSM, Ireland will continue to strive for outcomes which are pro-trade, pro-enterprise and pro-innovation”, he added.
Minister Breen will host a major meeting of the D9+ Group of Ministers from EU digital frontrunner countries in Dublin this May, at which Artificial Intelligence will be the central theme.
“Artificial Intelligence is an exciting development that is shaping a new reality for Irish businesses and creating significant new opportunities for innovation across all industries. The meeting in May will be an opportunity for both the international AI dimension and the Irish AI ecosystem to be showcased”, he said.
The EU Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy aims to open up digital opportunities for people and business and enhance Europe’s position as a world leader in the digital economy. The Digital Single Market (DSM) is one in which the free movement of persons, services and capital is ensured and where the individuals and businesses can seamlessly access and exercise online activities under conditions of fair competition, and a high level of consumer and personal data protection, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence.
The June 2015 European Council endorsed the DSM strategy presented by the Commission the previous month as the second of President Juncker’s ten political priorities. It was initially based around sixteen initiatives to be delivered in three key areas: simplifying access for consumers and business; shaping the environment for digital networks and services to flourish; and maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.
The Mid-term review of the DSM was published in May 2017 and noted good progress had been made and agreements had been reached on most of these proposals. The Mid-term review also outlined further areas where the EU needs to act further to ensure a fair, open and secure digital environment. These included:
- Clarifying rules on the cross-border flow of non-personal data-based on principles such as free movement of data (Free Flow of Data).
- Tackling cybersecurity.
- Reviewing platform to business (P2B) trading practices and ensure a fair and innovation-friendly business environment.
- Work with platforms to ensure that illegal content online can be easily reported and effectively removed.