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EU - Digital Economy and Society Index 2016

The European Commission released the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2016 desi

> Connecting Europe Facility – Telecom, new call 2016

> Connecting Europe Facility – Energy, first call 2016

DESI, Digital Economy and Society Index

The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness.

The DESI 2016 summarises data collected mostly during calendar year 2015, which are at the basis of the main DESI ranking of EU member states depicted below. Each score in the DESI is between 0 and 1, with higher values representing better performance.

The DESI 2016 shows that both the European Union as a whole as well as individual Member States are progressing towards a digital economy and society. However, member states are at different levels of development and are progressing at different speeds.

Overall, Europe is progressing. The EU as a whole attained a score of 0.52 in 2016, up from 0.50 last year. Improvement in the overall DESI score was mostly driven by the Connectivity and Integration of Digital Technology dimensions, the two fastest growing dimensions in the index. Developments in Digital Public Services and Human Capital have all but stagnated this year.

However, European progress has slowed down. Over the past year, the EU progressed a mere 0.02, from 0.5 to 0.52, whereas from 2014 to 2015 the EU had progressed 0.04, from 0.46 to 0.5.

This slowing down has happened in 4 out of the 5 main DESI dimensions (connectivity, digital skills, use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, Digital Public Services), with Integration of Digital Technology being the only dimension that has accelerated its growth: it grew 0.035 over the last year, more than the 0.023 it had grown from 2014 to 2015.

EU Member states

Over the course of last year, all EU countries have improved their score except for Sweden, who has stagnated at around 0.67. However, some countries have improved more than others; the top performing countries were Denmark (0.68), the Netherlands (0.673), Sweden (0.672) and Finland (0.669). On the other side of the scale, the bottom performing countries were Romania (0.35), Bulgaria (0.37), Greece (0.375) and Italy (0.4).

The countries that have improved the most from 2015 to 2016 were Croatia (from 0.37 to 0.42), Portugal (from 0.49 to 0.53), and Romania (from 0.32 to 0.35).

The gap between the best and worst performing countries is closing. This year, the difference between Denmark (0.68) and Romania (0.35) was 0.33, slightly smaller than in 2015, when it was 0.36. This is due to improvements registered by the bottom performing countries in tandem with the nearly inexistent growth by the top performers.

While 27 countries displayed positive net growth from 2015 to 2016, 24 of them have actually seen the pace of their growth slow down when compared to the previous year. The exceptions were Croatia (which grew 0.043 over the last year, more than the 0.017 that it had grown the year before), Portugal (growth of 0.039 last year versus 0.034 the year before) and Latvia (growth of 0.025 from 2015 to 2016, versus 0.23 from 2014 to 2015).

> Connecting Europe Facility – Energy, forthcoming calls 2016