Greece among the EU outsiders in the digital economy, despite significant progress

Greece remains in 25th place out of 27 member states EU in the 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).

However, the report says that in recent years Greece has made satisfactory progress compared to other EU member states, “which means that Greece is catching up.”

Sources at the Ministry of Digital Governance commented that Greece’s progress in digital transformation is not yet fully reflected in the index released annually by the European Commission. However, in the 2022 report, which is based on mid-2021 data, Greece surpasses the European average for the first time in a number of critical categories.

Digital government services
The same sources note that significant progress in the field of digital public services, “which is obvious and proven in our country”, is not yet reflected in the central indicator for purely methodological reasons, which the authors of the report comment on. In fact, they include additional data and analyzes in the report that reflect the rapid digitization of public services with particular clarity.

By all measures, the measures outlined in the Greek government’s Digital Transformation Paper are beginning to bring tangible improvements for citizens across the country, the report says, especially in terms of the digitization of public services. However, the authors of the report note that “vigilance is needed to ensure the rapid implementation of important projects currently underway that will increase digital opportunities at the national level and contribute to the achievement of the goals of the digital decade.”

Growth number of active users of digital services (e-government) exceeds the EU average by five points. In particular, in Greece it grew to 69% in 2021 (from 67%), while the average for the EU is 64%

In addition, DESI highlights the site public services and his contribution to the exponential growth of digital transactions, noting that “the number of digital transactions in 2021 (566 million) was six times greater than in 2020 (94 million)”.

Regarding digital services for citizens and businesses, he stressed that “the outlook for these services has improved significantly in 2021.” However, DESI 2022 does not include measurements that are taken every two years and are categories in which Greece has made great progress.

The DESI 2022 report includes a report from the Ministry of Digital Governance that shows the overall leap made in recent years. In particular, it states that “Since the start of the pandemic, Greece has recorded significant progress in the digitization of public services for citizens and businesses. Greece scored 90, which is higher than the EU average of 89 (while in the 2020 report, Greece scored 68 points out of an EU average of 85. From a business perspective, Greece scores 95, just below the EU average of 97 (while in the 2020 report Greece scored 78 points out of an EU average of 95)” .

“Champions” in 5G – “outsiders” in fiber optics
In the field of telecommunications infrastructure, Greece has moved from the last two positions, but still remains in the “tail” of the ranking. In particular, she climbed to 22nd place from 27th last year. This is due to higher progress compared to other EU countries. In particular, if the average communication index in the EU over the past two years has grown by 19.5%, the Greek index has grown by 48.5%.

In fact 2 years ago Greece was above the EU average on only one sub-indicator (4G coverage – which has been withdrawn), now Greece is above the EU average on three sub-indicators and one is exactly in the middle. Especially on the sub-indicator of 5G readiness – Greece is at 99% with the EU average of 56%.

The report states that further progress is needed, in particular in terms of fixed broadband penetration of at least 100 Mbps, which remains very low (9%) compared to the EU average (41%), and further improvement 5G coverage (66%) to provide access to high-speed connections throughout the country.

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