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Minister Naughten welcomes the Mid-Term Review of the EU Digital Single Market Strategy and Europe’s Digital Progress Report for Ireland 2017

European Commission’s stock take of the Digital Single Market Strategy demonstrates the necessary ambition which EU Member States now need to deliver on

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., welcomes today's publication of the European Commission mid-term review of the European Union Digital Single Market Strategy, as well as the publication of Europe’s Digital Progress Report 2017 for Ireland.

Mid-Term Review of the Digital Single Market Strategy
Today marks the midway point of the EU’s ambitious Digital Single Market Strategy as announced in 2015. The European Commission has therefore published its Mid Term Review of the Strategy, commending the work progressed but calling on European Member States to recommit to delivering a true digital single market. Ireland has always been a strong proponent of the EU’s DSM initiative, recognising the potential and added value to the Irish economy which can be created by working together with other EU Member States to create common rules for businesses and services.

Welcoming the ambition of the message of the Review, Minister Naughten said: “I welcome today’s stock take by the European Commission of the considerable progress to date under the Digital Single Market Strategy. I am pleased to say this includes the completion of several EU initiatives which officials in my Department have been working on, including EU Roam Like at Home and agreement on the liberalisation of the 700Mhz spectrum band in what has been called the first stepping stone towards future 5G in Europe.”

In a letter signed by both Minister Naughten and the Minister for European Affairs, Dara Murphy TD, Ireland, together with a group of digitally-ambitious Member States, had written to the Commission just last week seeking clarity and further ambition regarding the Commission’s plans for a European Data Economy. This included a specific calling for a legislative proposal on the Free Flow of Data.

Minister Naughten went on to say “We are in live discussion on a number of key files including the review of the Telecoms regulatory framework, and in negotiations on this and other proposals, Ireland will continue to push for a balanced approach which serves consumers and businesses alike, but we also want to encourage innovation and job growth. As to the remainder of the work programme ahead, I am delighted that the European Commission has now explicitly committed to a legislative proposal on Free Flow of Data. This is excellent news and we look forward to working with the Commission, Council and Parliament on delivering the DSM to the fullest of its possibilities and ambition.”

Publication of Europe’s Digital Progress Report (EDPR) 2017
In parallel to the Mid-Term Review of the Digital Single Market, the European Commission today also published Europe's Digital Progress Report (EDPR) for 2017, which monitors progress in digital policies in the Member States.

The EDPR benchmarks developments in connectivity, digital skills, use of internet by citizens and by business, digital public services, and investment in research, development and innovation in ICT. It also includes also reports on the telecoms market and regulatory developments in each Member State, looking at the respective competitive environment, the measures taken to facilitate network deployment, as well as consumer issues including roaming and net neutrality.

Minister Naughten is pleased to see that under the EDPR, Ireland ranks 8th overall in Europe across 28 Member States. The Government's commitment to delivering the National Broadband Plan is a high priority which will support and stimulate commercial investment through policy and regulatory measures. “Both the Mid Term Review and the publication of Europe’s Digital Progress Report today demonstrate the great work that can be achieved by the EU in delivering digital services to citizens and businesses and I look forward to working with the Commission going forward to effect the important work ahead.”

Note for Editors:

The Mid-Term Review of the Digital Single Market may be found at:
Europe’s Digital Progress Report 2017 may be found at: