The Slovenia Times

Slovenia 13th in EU digital economy and society rankings


Ljubljana - Slovenia has climbed from 16th to 13th spot in the European Commission's Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), which tracks digital progress in EU member states in several areas, the Government Office for Digital Transformation said on Friday following the release of the index.

Slovenia fares better than the EU average in human capital; connectivity; and integration of digital technology, the Government Office for Digital Transformation said.

In human capital, it advanced two spots to 13th to remain just below the EU average, but the Commission's report assesses this field as "one of Slovenia's biggest strengths".

The Slovenian Public Administration Ministry meanwhile said that over the past year, the share of ICT experts increased by 3.9% to 4.4%, while Slovenia also has 55% of people with at least basic digital skills, which puts it just under the EU average.

"The pandemic has enhanced the awareness of the need of digital skills, which can be an excellent basis for measures and progress in the future," the ministry added.

As for connectivity, which tracks various parameters of digital networks, including 4G or the preparedness for 5G, Slovenia advanced from 16th to 9th place.

Here the report notes that Slovenia's 5G deployment has not yet begun, but 98% of 5G spectrum has been assigned.

The ministry said the auction for 5G frequencies held in April played a key role in the improvement in this field, as the preparedness for 5G network increased from zero to 98%.

The DESI report says the number of households covered by fixed very high-capacity networks has increased slightly and is above the EU average.

Slovenia placed 8th in the integration of digital technology in businesses, up from 15th, where the report says high performance computing (HPC) is a national investment priority.

"Slovenia now has 'HPC Vega', its first petascale EuroHPC supercomputer, and in March 2021, it adopted the national cyber incident response plan, unifying cyber incident management procedures and providing stakeholder guidelines for a coordinated response," it says.

The Office for Digital Transformation announced several measures to be introduced next year as Slovenia seeks to become one of the five most digitally advanced EU members by the end of the decade.

A biometric ID, a virtual administrative office and a mandatory digital signature in the public administration will be introduced alongside e-care for the elderly, and telemedicine. An international centre for AI use and a development and business office in the Silicon Valley will also be established.


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