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Digital Economy and Society Index 2022: overall progress but digital skills, SMEs and 5G networks lag behind

The European Commission yesterday published the results of the 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), which tracks the progress made in EU Member States in digital. During the Covid pandemic, Member States have been advancing in their digitalisation efforts but still struggle to close the gaps in digital skills, the digital transformation of SMEs, and the roll-out of advanced 5G networks. The Recovery and Resilience Facility, with about €127 billion dedicated to reforms and investments in the area of digital, offers an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation, which the EU and its Member States cannot afford to miss.

The findings show that while most of the Member States are making progress in their digital transformation, the adoption of key digital technologies by businesses, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data remains low. Efforts need to be stepped up to ensure the full deployment of connectivity infrastructure (notably 5G) that is required for highly innovative services and applications. Digital skills is another important area where Member States need to make bigger progress.

Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, yesterday said:

Digital transition is accelerating. Most Member States are progressing in building resilient digital societies and economies. Since the start of the pandemic we have made significant efforts to support Member States in the transition. Be that through the Recovery and Resilience Plans, EU Budget or, more recently also through the Structured Dialogue on Digital Education and Skills. Because we need to make the most of the investments and reforms necessary to meet the Digital Decade targets in 2030. So change must happen already now.

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added:

We are making progress in the EU towards our digital targets, and we must continue our efforts to make the EU a global leader in the technology race. The DESI shows where we need to further strengthen our work, for example in spurring digitisation of our industry, including SMEs. We need to step up the efforts to make sure that every SME, business, and industry in the EU have the best digital solutions available to them and have access to a world-class digital connectivity infrastructure.”

Click here for the full press release

 

Original article link: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_4560

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