Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission report on the 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) shows digitalisation efforts are lagging.
In a press release on Thursday, the EC pointed out that EU member states made some progress during the coronavirus crisis, but stressed that gaps remain.
The body stressed the importance of advancing digitalisation efforts in 5G rollout, digitalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and closing gaps in digital skills.
It pointed out that the Recovery and Resilience Facility “offers an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the digital transformation, which the EU and its member states cannot afford to miss.”
The facility will help the bloc to direct roughly 127 billion euro towards digitalisation investments and reforms.
According to EC’s findings, majority of EU member states are making progress on adoption of new digital technologies, but use of artificial intelligence and big data is still low.
The body stressed the importance of speeding up 5G rollout, which is needed to develop new applications and services, and added that bloc members have to invest more in development of digital skills.
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, pointed out that “most member states are progressing in building resilient digital societies and economies.”
She noted that the EC supported bloc members’ digitalisation efforts since the start of the coronavirus crisis “because we need to make the most of the investments and reforms necessary to meet the Digital Decade targets in 2030.”
Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, 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.”
He stressed the importance of making 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.”
The EC stressed that EU member states are improving their respective digitalisation levels, with less developed ones gradually catching up over the last five or so years.
The body noted that it has to strengthen the digital push to “put the EU on track to achieve the vision set out with the Digital Decade.”