For the second year running, Finland is leading the pack in terms of digital performance and competitiveness, according to this year’s Digital Economy Index (DESI) published by the European Commission.
As the coronavirus crisis demonstrated the importance of a digital European economy, with distance working and learning becoming the new norm, the results could serve as a wake-up call for the Union.
The DESI-index, which measures digital progress in the areas of connectivity, digital skills, internet use of private citizens, deployment of digital technology in companies and digital public services, puts Nordic countries – Finland, Sweden, Denmark – in the top spots. These are followed by the Netherlands, Malta, Ireland and Estonia.
While the level of connectivity for EU member states has improved, only 17 of them have so far reserved radio frequencies needed for 5G-networks.
Finland, Germany, Hungary and Italy are currently best prepared for the switch.
Surprisingly enough, as much as 42% of the people in the member states lack even basic digital skills. By comparison, 76% of Finns are said to manage the gadgets, apps and services.
However, internet use has surged during the pandemic, as about 85% of the EU citizens go online at least once a week, compared to 93% in Finland.
Also, companies increasingly often use cloud services, although this varies depending on the member state. While their use remains pretty low in general (18%), half the companies in Finland routinely use them.
The use of digital healthcare and administrative services is also increasing and the most advanced countries in those fields are Estonia, Spain, Denmark, Finland and Latvia.
(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)