Digital Business Ireland calls on Irish Government to seek the Digital Commissioner role when nominating our next EU Commissioner 

Digital Business Ireland, the country’s largest representative body for digital and online businesses, has today released its European Parliament Election Manifesto. Marking the launch of the manifesto, Digital Business Ireland has said that Ireland needs to reaffirm its place as a digital leader at the heart of the EU and called on the Irish Government to look for digital policy responsibility when nominating our next EU Commissioner. 

The elections also provide an opportunity to transform Ireland’s digital business sector by implementing measures that will boost Ireland’s competitiveness in the AI and immersive technology sectors.  But this will only happen if Irish politicians proactively take the lead when it comes to EU policy making and implementation. In addition to asking the Government to seek the EU Digital Commissioner role, DBI is calling on the Irish MEP’s who are elected in June’s European Elections to seek out membership of European Parliament committees dealing with digital affairs. DBI is also calling for Irish Government departments to be provided with the necessary resources and expertise to deal with the negotiation and implementation of EU digital regulation. DBI sees a major opportunity for Irish policymakers to promote Ireland’s position in Europe as a leader in digital regulation during its current chairing of the D9+ group. This coincides with the establishment of a new EU mandate after the June elections.  

Digital Business Ireland has also highlighted the need for limiting overregulation and better harmonisation of the EU’s data rules, in order to combat market fragmentation in the digital single market.  While digital regulation is important, the EU has overseen a huge increase in digital regulation in recent years leading to problems of overregulation, particularly for SMEs; and limiting companies’ ability to scale and grow their businesses. 

Other recommendations contained in the DBI manifesto include: 

  • The European Commission should improve synergies between separate pieces of EU legislation and promote implementation of the principles of ‘better regulation’.   
  • The European Commission should establish an EU-wide dialogue with digital industry. 
  • The European Commission should introduce clear rules on open-source AI and invest further in the development of open-source AI.  
  • Ireland should adopt a Metaverse strategy, following the pioneering example set by Finland.  
  • The European Commission should invest more in programmes such as the Digital skills and jobs coalition that can facilitate SMEs and other businesses with upskilling, learning and training opportunities.  

Caroline Dunlea, Chairperson of Digital Business Ireland, said: Ireland remains a global hub for the digital and technology industries. But we must not take previous successes for granted. It is critical that in an era of new technologies and global competition, we take every necessary step to enable Ireland to stay ahead of the curve, to remain competitive, and to maintain our position as a global digital leader.  

Given the importance of digital policy to Ireland’s economy and future growth prospects, its only right that the Irish Government should seek the Digital Commissioner role when nominating our next EU Commissioner. Ireland must ensure it remains a digital leader at the heart of the EU, and seeking the Digital Commissionership would be a clear signal of Ireland’s intent and digital ambition.” 

The Digital Business Ireland European Parliament Election Manifesto can be read in full here: LINK  


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