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Montag, 27.03.2017
eGovernment Forschung | eGovernment Research 2001 - 2017

DESI index finds Malta scoring above the EU average

Malta ranks above the European average when it comes to fast broadband and e-government services but many local citizens still lack digital skills, an annual study by the European Union has found.

This year's Digital Economy and Society Index found that Malta's score for 2016 was above the EU average, with the country's progress outpacing that of many other member states.

The index noted a number of strong points, as well as some weaknesses.

Strengths:

  • Malta has universal broadband coverage and most consumers are using fast broadband with download speeds of at least 30Mbps.
  • Locals are highly engaged with the internet and interact on it more than most other EU citizens.
  • Malta outperforms the EU average in use of online banking and shopping services.
  • E-government services are more sophisticated than those offered by many other EU countries - but many don't use them.

Weaknesses

  • Although many are on fast broadband, take-up of superfast internet (at least 100Mbps) remains very low (1 per cent compared to the 11 per cent EU average).
  • Only 37 per cent of Malta's broadband spectrum has been assigned, compared to the 69 per cent EU average
  • Just 52 per cent of people have at least "basic digital skills" and Malta lags behind the EU average in the number of STEM graduates it churns out 
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 make use of video-on-demand services, compared to the 4 in 10 EU average
  • Local businesses remain reluctant to integrate their businesses online. E-commerce represents a much lower percentage of SME turnover (4.2 per cent) than the EU average (9.4 per cent).
  • Though e-government services are plentiful, just 28 per cent of people make use of them.
  • Malta scores low in making government data available.

The DESI is a composite index to measure the progress of EU member states towards a digital economy and society. It brings together a set of relevant indicators on Europe's current digital policy mix. The index aims to help EU countries identify areas requiring priority investments and action, in order to create a truly Digital Single Market – one of the top priorities of the Commission.

EU perspective

When comparing all EU member states, the Index found that Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands outperformed all others and ranked among the best in the world when it came to digital performance. Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy continue to lag behind.

The gap between top performers and laggards showed no signs of narrowing and actually increased from 36 to 37 per cent.

EU officials are currently working to make more content available online across borders, and new EU rules on data protection will come into force in May of next year.

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Quelle/Source: Times of Malta, 03.03.2017

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