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What is DESI and why is it of importance for Eastern partner countries to implement?
The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a tool for evaluating the degree of digitalisation of economies and societies in the European Union. It has been used by the European Commission to measure Member States’ digital progress since 2014 and remains the most widely used index of digital performance within Member States. It represents a set of indicators to track the evolution of four major areas: human capital, connectivity (though this dimension is not targeted by the EU4Digital DESI Accelerator), integration of digital technology and digital public services.
Adopting DESI indicator collection would provide Eastern partner countries with significant opportunities in the field of digital development. First, it enables the assessment of the impact of strategic and investment initiatives for developing digital economy and society, both on a regional and national level. The current DESI indicator collection and measurement maturity in Eastern partner countries does not allow for a comprehensive comparison between the Eastern partner countries and with EU countries. Harmonised data measurement would make it possible to compare individual country progress with that in the EU. It would also enable the measurement of progress in such digital transformation priorities as digital skills, connectivity, adoption of digital technologies in businesses as well as the development and use of public digital services. Moreover, DESI adoption provides a baseline for Eastern partner countries to move in one direction along with EU Member States, utilising shared frameworks such as the Digital Decade policy programme 2030, therefore, creating ground for integration to global digital markets.