Published on Tuesday9thJanuary2018

Minister Pat Breen highlights Ireland’s data protection environment and commitment to the EU during US visit

The Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, continues a programme of engagements in the United States during which he will highlight developments in Ireland’s data protection environment and its steadfast commitment as an EU member state. The programme will include 18 high-level meetings and events in San Francisco and Seattle, including a series of meetings with client companies and representatives of the IDA and Enterprise Ireland.


During the course of the visit, the Minister will use the opportunity to emphasise Ireland’s attractiveness as an investment location - as an English speaking, common law jurisdiction with direct access to Europe’s single market – and its commitment to EU membership, particularly in the context of Brexit.

Speaking in San Francisco, Minister Breen said:

“I am delighted to be here on the West Coast, it is a valuable opportunity to further strengthen the strong economic and cultural links between Ireland and the US. I look forward to meeting business leaders and members of the Irish community in both cities. Given the United Kingdom's intention to leave the EU, there is no doubt that the importance of Ireland’s commercial relationship with the US will strengthen in its significance in the coming years as Irish companies sharpen their focus on the North American market.”

Minister Breen will also take the opportunity to highlight Ireland’s robust data protection regime and preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in May 2018, as well as moves towards the creation of a Digital Single Market in Europe:

“Having a strong and robust data protection framework that citizens can trust in is central to realising the enormous potential that digital technologies offer our economy and society. “In Ireland we have taken a proactive approach to ensure that our data protection environment is world class. As part of this visit I will be highlighting the significant programme of work that Ireland has been undertaking since 2014 to strengthen our regime further, to provide Irish leadership on data issues, and prepare for new EU-wide rules coming in to force in May. And as Minister for Data Protection, I am delighted to be leading on this work. “Having a robust data protection regime clearly allows companies to reassure customers that their data is safe with them here in Ireland - that their data privacy is respected and protected – which is good for citizens and good for business."