Slovakia ranked 21st in digitalisation

IN DIGITAL readiness, Slovakia placed 21st from among 28 European Union member states, according to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) published in February by the European Commission.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

“We have a good level of digital skills, 76 percent of Slovaks use the internet regularly, while almost 60 percent have at least basic digital skills,” Ingrid Ludviková of the EC Representation in Slovakia told the SITA newswire.

DESI strives to check on the level of internet connections, internet skills, online activities, as well as the level of key digital technologies and digital public services.

Slovaks are quite active online, according to the information published. As many as 65 percent read online, 63 percent use social networks and 55 percent make voice or video talks via the internet.

They also use, to quite a significant extent, electronic banking at 51 percent and 58 percent shop online, Ludviková informed.

She added, however, that the country lags behind in fixed broadband networks: 15 percent of Slovak households still lack broadband connection. Another challenge for Slovakia is digital public services, according to the EC.

“So far only every fifth internet user has met with public administration and sent electronic forms; in online offering, Slovakia is at one of the worst places in Europe,” Ludviková said.

Only 7.4 percent of general practitioners use electronic exchange of medical information (36 percent in the EÚ) and a mere 3.5 percent of them send prescriptions to pharmacists in electronic form – Slovakia placed 23rd in this criterion.

The EC finds the digital index especially important when preparing its strategy for a unified digital market, which should be presented in May 2015. Its goal is to create conditions for European citizens and society to better use cross-border opportunities stemming from digital technologies.

The report noted that with a unified digital market, Europe could achieve €250 billion in additional growth within five years – as well as hundreds of thousands of new jobs. 

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