Digital Single MarketDESI index reveals that Europe improves but still needs to close the digital gap

Today, the European Commission presented the results of the 2017 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). This composite index measures the progress and performance of the 28 Member States towards a digital economy and society in terms of connectivity, digital skills, digitization of the public sector and other aspects. The DESI 2017 includes the following insights:

  • Connectivity improved but is still insufficient to address future needs: 76 percent of European homes have access to high-speed broadband (at least 30 Mbps). In some member states, there is a significant share of households with access to even more powerful broadband of 100 Mbps or more. However, this is insufficient to address the future needs for speed, quality and reliability of connections given that internet traffic is currently growing by 20 percent each year and by more than 40 percent on mobile networks.
  • Europeans are getting more digital: 79 percent of Europeans go online at least once per week and an equally high share plays or downloads music, films, pictures or games. 70 percent of European internet users read news online and 63 percent use social networks, compared to respectively 64 percent and 57 percent in 2013. Also, the share of people using online shopping (66 percent), online banking (59 percent) and online services to make calls (39 percent) has increased since 2013. 
  • Europeans use more public services online: 34 percent of internet users already submitted forms to their public administration online instead of handing in a paper copy compared to 27 percent in 2013.

Based on these DESI findings the Commission's follow-up Digital Progress Report is planned for May 2017 and seeks to give a profound assessment of how the member states progress in their digital development and to identify areas for improvement regarding digital performance.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, noted: "Europe is gradually becoming more digital but many countries need to step up their efforts. All member states should invest more to fully benefit from the Digital Single Market. We do not want a two-speed digital Europe. We should work together to make the EU a digital world leader."

Source: European Commission

More information and an overview on DESI