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'The future of Europe is digital' - Minister Dara Murphy in Rome for Digital Day ahead of 60th anniversary of the founding Treaties Ireland joins EU initiative on Connected and Automated Driving

The Minister of State for European Affairs, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection is today in Rome for Digital Day, which is taking place as part of the official celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. At today's event, Minister Murphy joined EU partners to sign, on behalf of Ireland, a letter of intent on cooperation under the European Commission's flagship initiative on Connected and Automated Driving (CAD). This weekend EU leaders will gather in Rome to formally mark the anniversary of the original founding Treaties of today's European Union. 

Organised by the European Commission and Italy in collaboration with the Maltese Presidency of the EU, the focus of today's Digital Day event is on the challenges, opportunities and transformation potential of Europe's digital future. Bringing together Ministers, high-level representatives and stakeholders, Digital Day is structured on four themes: Europe as a global player in high performance computing; towards connected and automated mobility; digitising European industry; and the impact of digital transformation on jobs and skills. 

Ahead of the Rome Summit this weekend, the Minister said: 

"Today, on Digital Day in Rome, Ireland, our EU partners and the Commission, are  sending out a strong signal that the future of Europe is digital. When EU leaders gather in the city this weekend, they will rightly be reflecting on Europe's achievements over the last 60 years. And let's not take it for granted, let's be proud, of all that we have achieved since the 1957 Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community. The even earlier European Coal and Steel Community laid the first foundations for our European Union today, and the remarkable peace and prosperity that Europe, our small corner of the world, has experienced in recent decades. 

"From its beginnings in coal and steel, the future of Europe is now digital. Barriers to doing business digitally and across borders in Europe are now barriers to jobs. That's why as a Government we have placed such a high priority on the need for Europe to collectively move ahead with ambition to achieve our goal for an EU-wide Digital Single Market by 2018. That's why I have been allocated responsibility for coordinating a whole of Government approach to our EU engagement on this strategic priority, and why I use every opportunity in my bilateral engagements with EU partners, to discuss the Digital Single Market strategy and proposals, as well as Ireland's unique perspective on Brexit.

"All roads lead to Rome, and at today's Digital Day, I was delighted to sign a Letter of Intent for Ireland to join with EU partners in the European Commission's initiative on Connected and Automated Driving (CAD), which is undoubtedly an important milestone in shaping the future reality of connected and automated mobility in the EU. Working constructively together on testing and large scale demonstration is the right way to proceed. This includes teasing out complex issues in areas such as safety, connectivity and cross-border inter-operability. We also see this as a crucial initiative in the context of the free flow of data in the Digital Single Market."

While in Rome, Minister Murphy held a bilateral meeting with his Italian counterpart State Secretary for EU Affairs Sandro Gozi, and met with members of the European Affairs and Foreign Affairs Committees of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, for discussions on Brexit, the future of Europe and the wider EU agenda.