The Single Market is set for a 21st century update...
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has joined 15 other EU leaders in writing to European Council President Donald Tusk stressing the importance of the Union establishing a Single Digital Market (SDM).
This could cut transaction costs for business and make goods cheaper.
Speaking in the Dáil ahead of this week's European Council meeting, the Taoiseach said:
"In adapting our shared market rules to the digital realities of the early 21st century, we will either create the right economic environment here in Europe or accept that the most promising digital opportunities are beyond our grasp. The reality is that barriers to doing business digitally and across borders are now barriers to growth and jobs.
"That is why I am leading an initiative in advance of this week’s meeting and will be joined by 15 Member States in my letter to President Tusk reaffirming the importance of maintaining strong political momentum on the Digital Single Market."
He added that meeting the deadline of establishing the DSM in 2018 will require a "further stepping up of engagement with key dossiers in both Council and Parliament."
Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, and the UK also wrote to Mr Tusk.
The letter states: "We need to give clear political priority to creating the right conditions across Europe for innovation, investment and entrepreneurship, including by recognising the crucial role of fast-growing young firms in employment growth.
"More generally, the key challenge we face is pressing ahead with conviction to execute the DSM legislative programme: stretching our political ambition, agreeing concrete timelines, and delivering early and practical results, particularly for European consumers and SMEs."