The EU is at an inflection point. With the forthcoming European elections and the new Commission mandate from 2024-29, the policy debates and decisions that are put in place in the coming months will set the tone and the investment framework from now until 2030. So it’s very important to get this right.

With this in mind, I was delighted to represent Amazon and participate in last week’s events in my hometown of Dublin, to mark Ireland’s chairmanship of the D9+ group of “digital frontrunners”. Since the group’s inception in 2016, the D9+ member states have become leaders in the digital transformation of their economies by prioritising the completion of the EU Single Market, in which both innovative start-ups and established companies can grow and scale.

Today, the D9+ is spearheading the debate against the inward-looking protectionist stances we increasingly see in the EU - under the guise of strategic autonomy and digital sovereignty – and leading moves to strengthen transatlantic economic openness and co-operation. D9+ member states have clearly demonstrated the benefits of inward investment in developing their economies and the importance of continued investment.

Ireland’s D9+ chairmanship has advanced this coherent vision for digital policy, which was reflected in the statement from the D9+ ministerial meeting hosted by Ireland’s Minister for Digital, Dara Calleary. The statement focuses on clear and effective digital regulation as a foundation for EU innovation and growth. It also outlines a clear strategy for the EU to become a global leader in the digital economy through harmonisation of digital regulation, striking a balance between innovation and regulation, and providing a stable regulatory environment to encourage business investment.

Given the importance of achieving a policy environment that achieves the EU’s ambitions for digital development and transformation in the decade to come, we at Amazon believe that the D9+ statement provides a clear roadmap for this:

  • Coherence: A full mapping of the EU’s ‘Digital Rulebook’ in a timely and transparent manner to facilitate compliance.
  • Thresholds: A high threshold for new digital regulations during the next legislative mandate and in-depth consultation with regulators, experts, and policymakers as part of legislative impact assessments.
  • Think small first: Ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and innovative companies flourish and are not overburdened by regulation.
  • Clear implementation: The D9+ will collaborate with the European Commission to implement and enforce the EU's 'Digital Rulebook' effectively.
  • Mid-term review: The D9+ recommends a review during the 2024-29 period to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, and economic impact of EU digital regulations.
  • SME support: Special focus on reducing burdens on SMEs to help them thrive in the digital marketplace.
  • Green and digital synergies: Crucially, the D9+ supports the alignment of the digital transition with the EU's climate goals and exploring ways to measure the environmental impact of digital technologies.
  • Fostering EU ‘unicorns’: Address barriers to innovation and create an environment where European tech start-ups can succeed and scale up to become ‘unicorns’.

Amazon looks forward to working ever more closely with D9+ member states and others to ensure that this coherent vision for digital policy gets realised in the forthcoming EU mandate.