Estonia ranks in ninth place in the EU in its progress towards a digital single market according to the latest Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) published by the European Commission on Friday, 18 May.
This ranking places Estonia in a high-performing cluster of EU nations, with Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands occupying the top four spots in the ratings.
Estonia retains its position as a leading country in the EU when it comes to digital public services, with highly-skilled, often early adopters of technology according to the report.
However, Estonia's progress as a whole has slowed up in recent years, in part due to poorer broadband and ultra-fast broadband coverage across the country, something partly compensated for by a wide mobile data coverage.
Another challenge facing Estonia on the technology front is the digitisation of companies in the private sector.
Regarding the EU 28 as a whole, the DESI 2018 states that whilst the EU is undoubtedly getting more and more digitised, it is somewhat off the pace compared with global leaders, as well as suffering from an uneven distribution of progress and technological development across the region.
Nevertheless, Vice President of the EU Commission for the digital single market is a former Estonian Prime Minister, Andrus Ansip, who sees the solution to issues in the EU in this sphere as being one of greater investment and a provision of a true digital single market.
"This is a shift, albeit small, in the right digital direction. As a whole, the EU is making progress but not enough yet. In the meantime, other countries and regions around the world are improving faster. This is why we should invest more in digital and also complete the digital single market as soon as possible: to boost Europe's digital performance, provide first-class connectivity, online public services and a thriving e-commerce sector," said Mr. Ansip
The DESI is drawn up annually, with the aim of measuring the progress of EU member states towards a digital economy and society. It aids EU countries in identifying areas requiring priority investments and action.
In 2018 for the first time, both the DESI and the more detailed analyses of national digital policies providing an overview of progress and of policy implementation by member states (previously Europe's Digital Progress Report), have been published jointly under the DESI title.
Editor: Andrew Whyte