Romania ranks second-to-last in EU’s 2019 Digital Economy and Society Index

Anca Alexe 12/06/2019 | 08:43

The European Commission has released the results of the 2019 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), a report that monitors Europe’s overall digital performance and tracks the progress of EU countries on digital competitiveness.

Romania ranks 27th out of the 28 EU member states in this year’s DESI report, above only Bulgaria. Although the country has shown slight improvements in almost all of the dimensioned measured in DESI, its ranking remained stable as the overall progress was slow.

Romania performs best on Connectivity, thanks to the wide availability of fast and ultrafast fixed broadband networks, especially in urban areas, but remains below the EU average for this dimension as well.

However, digitization of the economy is lagging behind significantly. Romania ranks well below the EU average on the Integration of digital technology by businesses indicator.

Romanian enterprises are taking advantage of the possibilities offered by big data analysis (11 percent versus 12 percent EU average), where the country ranks 14th. 9 percent of Romanian enterprises are using social media (versus 21 percent EU average). There was a slight improvement in the use of cloud services from 6 percent in 2017 to 7 percent in 2018, however it remains well below the EU average of 18 percent. Only 8 percent of total SMEs are selling online (against an EU average of 17 percent), while 2 percent of them are selling online cross-border (versus 8 percent EU average).

More than a fifth of Romanians have never used the internet, and fewer than a third have basic digital skills. As for the share of female ICT specialists, Romania is well positioned, ranking 16th, with 1.3 percent of Romanian women in employment working in the sector.

In terms of Digital Public Services, Romania has the lowest performance among the member states, despite the large share of e-government users (7th in the EU). On the other hand, 45 percent of Romanian homes have ultrafast broadband – the third highest figure in the EU.

Romania adopted its National Strategy on the Digital Agenda in February 2015, setting out four areas of action, but progress in implementation remains limited.

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