Regulators welcome National Digital Strategy
01st February 2022
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) and the Data Protection Commission (DPC) welcome the publication of the National Digital Strategy today by Taoiseach Michéal Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. The National Digital Strategy marks a step change for Ireland’s ambition to harness the possibilities of digital technology for our everyday lives while providing protection from harm in the online world.
Professional, effective and appropriate regulation in the digital environment is critical to achieve the aims set out in the National Digital Strategy. Regulation in the digital environment transcends traditional sectoral regulation. This is evident in how people shop, communicate, share and create content online everyday. It is important that regulatory bodies have the ability to cooperate and coordinate appropriately. Ensuring that our regulatory structures are fit for purpose in the online world will result in benefits for consumers, better operation of online markets, greater protection for consumers and citizens online, and will enhance Ireland’s international reputation.
The Government’s commitment to achieving a modern, cohesive and well-resourced regulatory framework in the National Digital Strategy is particularly welcome. The proposed designation of Ireland’s Digital Services Coordinator in Q1 2022 will provide scope to implement the necessary planning and design to implement the forthcoming Digital Services Act and fulfil Ireland’s important role under the Country of Origin principle. The BAI, CCPC, ComReg and the DPC look forward to the formal structured engagement with the Digital Issues Senior Officials Group envisaged by the National Digital Strategy. Enhanced engagement will bring both the experience and expertise of regulators to ensuring clarity, coherence and cooperation in digital regulation.
Brian McHugh, Member of the CCPC said:
“Ireland’s role as a world-leader in the digital space comes with benefits and opportunities, but also with expectations and responsibilities. As regulators we acknowledge that we must adapt and change to the new digital regulatory environment. In embracing this challenge, we will work with Government to achieve its stated aim that Ireland becomes a centre of regulatory excellence for Europe where both industry investments and European consumers are the winners.”
Helen Dixon, Commissioner for Data Protection said:
“There are many positive aspects to the technology sector’s innovative culture that we can learn from. In order to ensure effective regulation, regulators need to ensure that we can hire people with the ability and flexibility to rise to the challenge. We welcome the Government’s support to ensure that we attract and retain the talent necessary for this change.”
Celene Craig, BAI Chief Executive said:
“The National Digital Strategy comes at a very important time for the development of Ireland’s digital regulatory landscape. There are many new roles and responsibilities for regulators in the online environment in forthcoming Irish and European legislation. Preparation is key. The BAI looks forward to making a significant contribution to ensuring that these regulatory functions are appropriately designed, resourced and set up to place Ireland at the forefront of digital regulation.”
Garrett Blaney, Commissioner with ComReg said:
“The expertise and experience of ComReg and that of my colleagues in the DPC, BAI and the CCPC in navigating the impact of digital across markets can be of assistance to Government to design and prepare for future digital regulation. We are committed to playing our part to support the achievement of the strategic objectives underpinning Ireland’s Digital Strategy.”