Portugal rises to 15th in EU economy, society digitisation index

  • Lusa
  • 28 July 2022

The country has risen one place in the digitisation index of the economy and society (DESI), now occupying 15th place among the 27 member states of the European Union (EU).

Portugal has risen one place in the digitisation index of the economy and society (DESI), now occupying 15th place among the 27 member states of the European Union (EU) but registering “slightly lower” progress than other countries.

The information was released on Thursday by the European Commission in the report on this year’s DESI, and in relation to Portugal the institution stresses that the country “occupies 15th place among the 27 EU member states in the 2022 edition of the index, having risen one position compared to 2021”.

In the document that comes from the EU executive’s monitoring of member states’ digital progress, Brussels also notes that “Portugal’s relative progress is, in general, slightly lower than that of peer countries, so there is scope for the country to accelerate its digitisation efforts”.

Overall, Portugal has a score of 50.8, which compares with the EU average of 52.3, and is below the rest of the EU.

Highlighting that “Portugal has taken a series of measures to provide its population with skills, expand connectivity and support the adoption of technologies by small businesses”, the European Commission points out that there are still, however, “disparities between businesses and individuals regarding the adoption of information and communication technologies”.

According to Brussels, the country also has “good-quality connectivity infrastructure, with room for expansion of 5G coverage”, the fifth-generation mobile networks, and should still work to solve the “excessive dependence on an advanced online public administration”, which in the institution’s view “may, however, leave behind an excessive number of people, given Portugal’s digital skills deficit”.

The digital transition is one of Portugal’s strategic priorities, which is also expressed in the national Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), funded with EU bazooka funds after the Covid-19 crisis.

The digital component represents 22.1% of the overall amount of the Portuguese PRR, above the European target that requires an allocation of at least 20% for digital measures, with Portugal committed to initiatives in the area of education and training in digital skills, the digital transformation of companies and the digitisation of the state.

In the report it is also highlighted that, “following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the country facilitated access to displaced Ukrainians to services and employment by simplifying administrative procedures and requirements and ensuring access to tax, social security and national health services”.

Published every year by the European Commission, the DESI assesses progress towards a digital economy and society in EU countries, based on data from the statistical office Eurostat and on specialised studies and collection methods, to help member states by identifying priority sectors requiring specific actions and investments.