Digital economy: Ireland moves up in European digitisation ranks

18 May 2018

Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin. Image: Madrugada Verde/Shutterstock

Better digital skills, more e-commerce and Irish people’s usage of internet services lead to performance boost.

Ireland has moved up three places to sixth from ninth in the EU Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).

The country has made continuous improvements in these rankings since 2014, when it was in 10th place.

‘The aim is to develop the optimal digital ecosystem for SMEs and increase Ireland’s digital competitiveness’

Ireland is top of the rankings for STEM graduates, SMEs selling online, e-commerce turnover, cross-border SMEs online and open data.

Skills and connectivity

The improvement in the rankings came from progress in the areas of basic and advanced digital skills, online transactions, and Irish people’s use of internet services.

The publication of the DESI report comes in the week that Ireland hosted a ministerial meeting of the EU Digital 9+ frontrunner countries under the theme of artificial intelligence.

The D9+ group is a loose affiliation of like-minded member states on Digital Single Market issues, comprising the nine top-ranked European countries in the DESI, plus two other countries who share similar ambitions for the Digital Single Market.

“The [DESI] report clearly confirms our standing as one of the frontrunner EU countries in the digital agenda,” said Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen, TD.

“The DESI Report for 2018 shows that Ireland improved our performance in 22 of the 30 comparable indicators within the index, and indicates that we are on the right track in adopting and implementing the initiatives necessary to digitise our economy even further.

“Nevertheless, we remain focused on maximising the potential of our economy, and want to further enhance our performance across several areas.

“The aim is to develop the optimal digital ecosystem for SMEs and increase Ireland’s digital competitiveness,” Minister Breen said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years