The result of the European Commission study shows the performance of the 28 member states in a wide range of areas, from connectivity and digital skills to the digitization of businesses and public services. The main conclusion is that Europe is making progress but the gap is still very wide between the countries that have developed a strong digital economy and society and the countries with low performance.
The results show that Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands come first in terms of the DESI index in 2017. Luxembourg, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Ireland follow.
The three EU digital ‘champions’ are world champions as well, having surpassed South Korea, Japan and the United States.
Slovakia and Slovenia are the EU countries that have made the most progress. Despite some improvements, Poland, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, are still lagging behind in terms of their digital environment compared to other member states.
The digital society and economy index is based on five factors:
1. Connectivity: regarding fixed broadband, broadband mobile communications, broadband speeds and prices.
In Greece, there is wide availability of fixed broadband, but their penetration has been slow. Prices are relatively high, the transition to high-speed broadband connections are slower than in other EU countries and Greece remains last in NGA coverage per household.
2. Human Capital: Internet use, basic and advanced computer skills.
In the EU, 79% of Europeans are connected to the Internet at least once a week, which means an increase of 3 percentage points compared to last year, while 78% of Internet users use it to play or uploaded music, pictures, movies or games. Overall, 70% of European Internet users read news online (64% in 2013), 63% make use of social networks (57% in 2013), 66% make online purchases (61% in 2013), 59% use online banking (56% in 2013) and 39% make telephone calls via the Internet (33% in 2013).
In Greece, the number of people who connect to the Internet has increased, but the skill level is low.
3. Internet Use: Use by citizens for content, communications and online transactions.
Greeks are active users of social media and read online content. In the past year, more and more users began to use online banking services.
4. Integration of digital technology: Digitization of businesses and e-commerce.
Greece progresses slowly in this area. Companies use social media, but they are less willing to adopt new technologies such as cloud computing and RFID. An increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises use the internet channels for sales, but not for cross-border sales.
5. Digital public services: e-Government.
Greece has made progress in the provision of open data, although not as fast as other European countries. The number of e-government services users also increased slightly, but electronic public services are well below the EU average.