We know that all knowledge does not lie with the Commission, so please tell us how to regulate the digital world.
- Vice-President Katainen-
Investing in Europe's Future – Digital Opportunities for Ireland
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, participated in a Citizens’ Dialogue in Dublin, together with Paddy Cosgrave, co-founder of Web Summit; Nicola Byrne, founder of Cloud90 and 11890; and with the virtual participation of Lord David Puttnam, Digital Champion for Ireland
The Citizens' Dialogue at the National Convention Centre in Dublin focused on the Investment Plan and the Digital Single Market and exposed the extent investments and digital technologies are intertwined.
In his introduction, Vice-President Katainen stressed that "Citizens' Dialogues are excellent opportunities to collect ideas from citizens, and feedback on what we got right, what we should do differently and what our priorities should be".
He continued asking citizens on their views on "how to regulate the digital world so that Europe can gain comparative advantage from it?" Lord Puttnam and Nicola Byrne referred to digital technologies as fundamental game changers, while Paddy Cosgrave welcomed that the Investment Plan would pump an enormous amount of money into the European economy.
The lively debate with a lot of to-the-point comments from participants addressed issues that showed the relevance of the Commission's work to the local audience, including access to broadband and related funding and how to handle monopolistic players in the digital market.
Vice-President Katainen explained that "Improving and increasing the digital infrastructure such as rolling out high-speed broadband in rural areas is one of the objectives of the Investment Plan" and was positive that "Ireland can benefit from this."
The audience felt that investments should go into the industries and innovation for creating jobs, while many participants also stressed the role of education in creating new jobs. Nicola Byrne, EU Ambassador for Women's Entrepreneurship, touched upon the importance of helping home-grown start-ups.
The event in Dublin was part of a series of Citizens' Dialogues that involve the whole European Commission and take place in all EU Member States.