According to the European Commission, although member states‘ digitalization is progressing, there are still some gaps that need to be filled. Deployment of 5G infrastructure is one of the bottlenecks. This particular piece of technology needs to be fully implemented because it is essential to a number of cutting-edge services and applications. Lack of digital skills and limited adoption of “essential digital technologies” like AI and Big Data are two further gaps.
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president for Europe Fit for the Digital Age, commented on the findings of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2022 report.
“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.”
The survey revealed that Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden had made the biggest advancements; nevertheless, even in those countries, businesses were only slowly adopting AI and Big Data, and there was a skills gap. Because it results in digital exclusion, which keeps people from accessing more and more opportunities as more services move toward being digital-first, the lack of digital skills among particular groups of society is actually rather concerning.
Poland, Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania were the nations that lagged behind the most. Poland and Greece both saw large increases in their DESI scores during the past five years, despite the fact that they are still in the bottom four. Since Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU only in 2007, they are newer member states and should eventually catch up to the EU average.
Only 56% of the overall 5G harmonized spectrum has been allotted, according to the Commission, with the exception of Poland and Estonia. It stated that in order to completely deploy 5G, the assignment of 5G spectrum must be completed, therefore nations should concentrate on this to move things along a little faster.