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Finland continues to rank high in EU digital comparison

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of FinanceMinistry of Transport and Communications
12.11.2021 16.00 | Published in English on 15.11.2021 at 13.19
Press release
the Ministerial Working Group on Developing the Digital Transformation, the Data Economy and Public Administration

Finland ranked second in the European Union’s digital performance comparison. The European Commission’s annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) monitors the digital performance of EU Member States and tracks their progress in digitalisation. Finland ranked number one in the previous two years, and has been one of the leading countries for several years.

The maximum score in the DESI comparison is 100. Finland's score this year was 67.1, which is well above EU average of 50.7. In this year’s comparison, Denmark had the highest score.  Ranked after Finland in the digital performance comparison were Sweden, the Netherlands, Ireland, Malta and Estonia.

The Ministerial Working Group on Developing the Digital Transformation, the Data Economy and Public Administration considers Finland’s continuous high scores in the comparison an indication of successful cross-sectoral digitalisation efforts and proof our Finland’s desire to use technology and data to create a sustainable and equal future. However, there is still work to be done. 

“The result confirms that Finland is one of the leading European countries in digitalisation. We still need determined efforts to retain our leading position, and it is particularly important to make sure digital development will benefit a wide range of people and that no-one is excluded.  To this end, we have taken steps to make the government sector better equipped to support and drive digitalisation in various sectors of society. These include establishing a ministerial working group for digitalisation and a new coordination group for digitalisation within the Government,” says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero, who is responsible for digitalisation in public administration.  

“It was high time to step up our digital performance management and to launch the preparations for Finland’s digital compass. Finland’s reference countries are increasing their investment in the data economy. We want to lead the way in technology, application development and digital services,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka, the new ministerial group’s first chair in digitalisation matters.

The Digital Economy and Society Index monitors digitalisation in the EU countries, breaking this down into four areas: connectivity, human capital (including digital skills), integration of digital technology by businesses, and digital public services. Finland’s ranking among these different areas varied, but in the overall composite index Finland took second place.

Finland showed good progress in all areas

According to the country report, Finland continued to lead in human capital, integration of digital technology and digital public services, improving its scores in several DESI dimensions. The differences between the top countries were small. Finland is showing progress in all areas from previous years. 

Factors lowering Finland’s score included connectivity and particularly the poor coverage of fixed networks. While the country report identified mobile networks as one of Finland’s strengths, inadequate digital infrastructure in sparsely populated areas were considered a particular challenge. The report also noted that Finnish SMEs were less active in providing e-commerce services than SMEs in many other countries. 

The results of the digital comparison will be carefully analysed and taken into account when formulating Finland’s digital compass. A decision to create a digital compass for Finland was taken at the first meeting of the Ministerial Working Group on Developing the Digital Transformation, the Data Economy and Public Administration. 

The Ministerial Working Group on Developing the Digital Transformation, the Data Economy and Public Administration is tasked with guiding the development of digitalisation, information and technology policy and the data economy, and coordinating related activities and situational awareness.

The ministerial working group will be chaired by Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero in matters concerning public administration. In other matters, Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka will serve as Chair until March 2022, followed by Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä until the end of September 2022. After this, Minister Paatero will serve as Chair in all matters for the remainder of the term.

Inquiries:

Päivi Nerg, Permanent Under-Secretary, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 530 149
Jarkko Levasma, Government Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 530 117
Laura Eiro, Director General, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 400 969 293
Mika Nordman, Director of Digital Services, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 142

Sirpa Paatero Timo Harakka