Robert Troy, T.D., Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation is attending a Ministerial level meeting of the Digital 9+ (D9+) EU countries today hosted by Finland. The theme of the meeting is on leading the way to Europe’s digital decade.
The D9+ brings together the nine top-ranked European countries in the European Commission annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), plus a small number of other countries who share similar ambitions for the Digital Single Market.
Ireland is considered a digital frontrunner because of its prominent ranking on the DESI Index, making continuous improvements in the rankings since 2014, and is now at 6th position. Ireland continues to rank first in the Integration of Digital Technology dimension and has maintained a leading position in the use of e-Commerce by SMEs.
Minister Troy said “Ireland believes enabling, investing and driving European technological leadership in critical disruptive technologies, especially Artificial Intelligence, needs to be balanced with preserving an open economy. By striking the right balance, we can strengthen our competitiveness and economic power without compromising fundamental principles of openness, transparency, inclusiveness, and a level playing field.
“Similarly, to stay ahead, we need to balance the need for proportionate levels of administration and regulation at EU and Member State levels which do not impose unnecessary burdens with the need to promote and enable innovation that ultimately drives economic growth.
“I look forward to discussing and to contributing to the formulation of the roadmap and the 2030 goals for Europe’s digital decade that the EU Commission is working on. This group has a very important role to play in consolidating our advantages and further stimulating the digital policy agenda for Europe”.
About the D9
The D9+ group is an informal alliance of Digital Ministers from the digital frontrunner EU Member States. It comprises the nine top-ranked European countries in the European Commission annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), plus a small number of other countries who share similar ambitions for the Digital Single Market.
The Ministers generally meet twice a year to build on their collective strengths in advanced digital policy and to confront the challenges associated with and to influence EU digital policy and regulation.
Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI)
Ireland ranks 6th out of the 27 EU Member States in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020. Over the last five years, Ireland has made continuous improvements in these rankings and is now the fastest growing Member State in the EU on the index.
The DESI is a composite index that summarises five relevant indicators (Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet Services, 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 2020 shows that Ireland is now ranked as the 6th most advanced digital economy in the EU. Ireland either improved or maintained its performance in 29 indicators within the Index and was above the EU average in 24 of the indicators.
Ireland continues to rank first in the Integration of Digital Technology dimension and has maintained a leading position in the use of e-Commerce by SMEs. It entered the top 10 on the Use of Internet by individuals and recorded a notable increase in the share of internet users. It maintained its top 10 position in Digital Public Services, where it excels in open data and the provision of digital public services for businesses. Digital transformation continues to be one of the core economic policy issues in Ireland. This is reflected in the various policy initiatives in 2019.
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.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) 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 has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.
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