“It is vital for European prosperity that we provide the right conditions for digital entrepreneurs to flourish”, Seán Kelly MEP said in a keynote speech welcoming the 10,000 whiz kids and other participants from across Ireland and Europe, at the opening of the Coder Dojo Coolest Projects Awards in Dublin at the weekend.

“We are talking about a cutting edge sector in which innovation drives jobs and growth. Start-up after start-up, idea after idea, app after app; the digital sector is one that now finds its way into everything we do. But Europe lags starkly behind the US in this sector and this can partially be attributed to the fact that we are pitting our fragmented grouping of 28 different markets against one large functioning market on the opposite side of the Atlantic,” he said.

Mr Kelly said the scale of what Europe is trying to do by creating a Digital Single Market could be considered just as significant as the creation of the original Single European Market.

“Creating this single market provides the right signal for the investment needed to get European companies off the ground. If we get this right, we can add €415 billion annually to the Europe economy. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs can be created. Consumers will get better access to digital goods and services and save money through increased competition.”

“The Digital Single Market must support a dynamic economy that is conducive to innovation, eliminates barriers for businesses, and creates a level playing field through the development of e-government, a future-proof regulatory and non-regulatory framework, a long term digital investment strategy and better access to finance.

“Most of all, we need to support our digital entrepreneurs, such as these highly-skilled, talented children and teenagers here at the Coolest Projects event this weekend. This future generation of digital entrepreneurs will drive our economy into the future,” Mr Kelly added.

Concluding, Mr Kelly congratulated Coder Dojo on winning the European Citizen’s Prize 2016, following his nomination, for their innovative and inclusive support for youth with their network of voluntary youth coding clubs.

Mr Kelly was a guest speaker at the Coder Dojo Coolest Projects Awards, RDS Dublin, Saturday, 18th June 2016.

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