Ireland now 7th of 28 EU Member States on the Digital Economy and Society Index
Pat Breen, T.D., Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection today, 11 June 2019, welcomed the news from the European Commission that Ireland has improved its performance in the 2019 EU Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) compared to 2018. Our performance is ahead of the European average in four of the five indicators. Ireland improved its overall ranking by one place, moving from 8th to 7th place in Europe in the Index.
The methodology of the DESI 2019 has been changed from previous years to take account of the latest technological developments. Ireland has made continuous improvements in these rankings since 2014.
Minister Breen chairs the Inter-Departmental Committee on the Digital Single Market (DSM) which ensures a whole of government approach and cross-Government coordination of the Digital Single Market agenda. The Committee brings together representatives from Government Departments that have a digital remit and whose work contributes to Ireland’s improved standing within the DESI Report.
Minister Breen welcomed Ireland’s continued improvement across all five indicators in the Index,
The DESI Report for 2019 shows that the actions this Government has taken to progress the digital transformation agenda in Ireland are bearing fruit. Ireland either improved or maintained its performance in 33 indicators within the Index and was above the EU average in 28 of these. This is a hugely impressive achievement and a clear indication that Ireland well prepared to embrace the opportunities that the Digital Age is already bringing.
Ireland is top of the DESI rankings in the “Integration of Digital Technology by Businesses” category and in three sub-categories: eCommerce Turnover; SMEs Online Cross-border and Open Data. Ireland’s impressive performance also reflects improvements in the use of Video on Demand services and availability of Digital Public Services for businesses. In a European context, the report reveals that Ireland is significantly ahead of the EU average in the areas of 5G Readiness, Video on Demand, eCommerce Turnover and Open Data.
Ireland’s position in the Index makes us a prominent member of the EU Digital 9+ (D9+) front-runner countries. The D9+ group is a loose affiliation of like-minded Member States on Digital Single Market issues, comprising the top-ranked European countries in the DESI.
Minister Breen concluded,
While we should of course be very pleased with Ireland’s digital performance, we operate in a fast and dynamic environment. We must continue to press ahead with adopting and implementing the necessary structural changes to remain at the forefront of the digital transformation agenda and avoid the risk of stalling against our competitors.
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.
Based on the 2019 methodology, Ireland ranks 7th in DESI 2019. Ireland ranked 8th DESI 2018 and DESI 2017 had Ireland ranked in 10th place. The DESI has been re-calculated for all countries for previous years to reflect the changes in the indicators and correction to the underlying data. Country scores and rankings may thus have changed compared with previous publications. For further information, please consult the DESI website: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/desi
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, such as for use of Video on demand services, and also make good use of online public services, such as the use of Pre-filled forms.
Ireland is ranked first in Europe in 3 of 44 indicators, namely:
- eCommerce Turnover;
- SMEs Online Cross-border; and
- Open Data.
Also, of note is our strong performance in the Human Capital dimension with a ranking of 2nd in the EU for ICT graduates and 4th for Female ICT specialists.
The Digital 9+ Countries (D9+) group is a loose affiliation of like-minded Member States on Single Market issues, comprising the top-ranked European countries in the European Commission annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).
The Interdepartmental Committee on the Digital Single Market is chaired by Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection. Representation on the Committee was extended earlier this year to a further three Government Departments and now includes representatives from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) and the following other Government Departments / Agency:
- Department of the Taoiseach;
- Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment;
- Department of Justice & Equality;
- Department of Finance / Public Expenditure & Reform, including the Office of the Chief Government Information Officer (OGCIO);
- Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade;
- Department of Transport, Tourism & Sports;
- Department of Agriculture & the Marine;
- Department of Education & Skills; and
- IDA Ireland.
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.