Ireland’s Minister for Trade, Pat Breen, has said that the country is committed to the digitisation of the European economy and furthering the digital single market.
Breen was speaking ahead of a meeting in Brussels with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel. The TD also attended a high-level meeting of EU single market and industry ministers, where gathered stakeholders discussed competitiveness, EU industrial policy and the digitisation of the European economy.
Breen said that he felt Ireland’s support for the digitisation of the European economy was vital, because the country is a frontrunner in terms of implementing digital technologies, and that through this it would be able to offer novel solutions in the pursuit of Europe’s digital single market ambitions.
The achievement of the European Commission’s goals in this area would also stand to benefit the economies of member states, and Ireland will offer policy support to allow small and medium-sized enterprises to take advantage of developments.
How will Ireland support digitisation?
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Breen welcomed the fact that the Irish government’s own efforts are directly aligned with the EU’s priorities for digitisation of the European economy. He said: “[Our] government sees obvious synergies between digital policy initiatives at EU level and national policy”.
He focused specifically on the economic potential that digitisation could offer, including growth and new opportunities, adding: “In particular, we want to underline the benefits to small and medium enterprises that the [digital single market] will bring in terms of market access and opportunities for growth.”
There are a number of different strategies and technological developments being pursued at both EU and member state level to achieve this.
What are Ireland’s priorities?
One technology with transformative potential which Breen identified as a priority is artificial intelligence (AI), which will also form the central theme of an upcoming meeting of Europe’s foremost digital countries in May.
Breen explained: “Artificial intelligence is an exciting development that is shaping a new reality for Irish businesses and creating significant new opportunities for innovation across all industries. The meeting in May will be an opportunity for … the Irish AI ecosystem to be showcased.”