Ireland to host Digital 9 meeting in 2018 to discuss European progress

18 Oct 2017

Stockholm, the location of today’s Digital 9 ministerial meeting. Image: TTStudio/Shutterstock

Digital leaders will meet in Ireland next year to discuss issues around Europe’s digital economy.

Today (18 October), the Digital 9 (D9) group is meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, along with ministers from other EU member states to discuss EU digital policy.

The group is made up of digital frontrunner countries, including Ireland as well as Nordic, Benelux and Baltic states.

The meeting will act as a forum for exchange of best practice, and attendees will discuss issues such as the challenges of digital society today, the future of work, online platforms and the European Commission’s proposal on the free flow of data.

Ireland as a digital frontrunner

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen, TD, said: “Digitisation is increasing on a vast scale and Ireland has long been recognised as a digital frontrunner within the EU. In addition to [the] difference it makes to our everyday lives, digitisation provides huge economic opportunities.

Breen added that Ireland’s active engagement with the Digital Single Market is a vital component in driving the country forward. “The D9 group provides an important forum through which the best practice and knowledge of like-minded member countries can be shared to greater effect.

“In this regard, I look forward to hosting a meeting of the D9 group in 2018. This will underscore Ireland’s commitment to the digital agenda.

“I am firmly of the view that a stronger and more coherent Digital Single Market is essential to boost jobs and economic growth in all regions across Europe, to open new growth opportunities for our SMEs and to ensure our global competitiveness.”

Transforming the EU economy

The EU Digital Single Market Strategy aims to adopt the current rules to reflect the realities of the digital business environment of the 21st century.

There are 16 initiatives within the strategy, which in turn support three main pillars: simplifying access to digitisation for consumers and businesses, shaping an accommodating environment for digital networks and services, and maximising growth potential for the digital economy.

It aims to make the EU’s single market fit for the digital age, which could contribute €415bn per year to the collective economies of member states and create thousands of jobs.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects