The new Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) published on June 11, 2020, places Romania on the 26th place (out of the 28 member states) on digital performance and digital competitiveness, among the member states, following the analysis of 5 dimensions:
- Connectivity – Broadband market developments in the EU
- Human Capital/Digital skills
- Use of Internet Services by citizens
- Integration of Digital Technology by businesses
- Digital Public Services
The index summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU Member States in digital competitiveness. Although the report is based on 2019 data (pre-pandemic), its conclusions are relevant.
As for Romania, according to the report, there is no noticeable progress on the 5 thematic areas, compared to the 2018 data and this is due to slow progress overall, but also due to political developments, as Romania has had four different governments over the last 3 years.
Out of the five dimensions measured in the report, our country performs best on the Connectivity dimension, thanks to the high take-up of ultrafast broadband and the wide availability of fixed very high capacity networks, especially in urban areas. 49% of Romanian homes subscribe to ultrafast (at least 100 Mbps) broadband, the fifth-highest figure in the EU. Also, Romania is well-positioned as regards ICT graduates, as it ranks fifth, with 5.6% of all graduates (EU average: 3.6%).
Surely, the report acknowledges that the pandemic has added to our efforts towards digitalization since some progress has been made in order to adapt our business – as – usual model to the constraints imposed by social distancing. Consequently, the DESI 2020 findings need to be read in conjunction with the large number of measures in digital taken by the Commission and the Member States to manage the pandemic and to support the economic recovery.
Overall, Romania lags behind all member states in terms of digital performance and digital competitiveness and is still struggling with finding ways to monitor and report it’s relevant achievements in the five digital areas monitored by the Commission.
Digitalization of all businesses and public services must be the focus during the next programming period (2021 – 2027). Our country will have 2 operational programs that will support business digitalization and smart growth and human capital.
Thus, the findings of the DESI report must be tackled by a comprehensive and well adjusted national strategy to finance EU projects that will support the progress of our country in all 5 areas.
Download DESI 2020 Full Report | Source for DESI report: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/desi
Download DESI 2020 Country report | Source for Country report: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/scoreboard/romania