The European Commission’s Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI) examines the evolution of EU countries towards a digital economy and society. Objective: allowing member states to identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the domains in need of priority investments. With a total score of 57.9, Luxembourg ranks 10th out of 28 EU Member States. The 2020 index emphasises in particular Luxembourg's progress in digital public services for businesses.
Luxembourg particularly competitive in its connectivity
The DESI is a compound index, structured in five interdependent and weighted components:
- Connectivity (3rd): broadband coverage, 4G coverage, 5G readiness…
- Human capital (8th): basic digital skills, IT specialists, ICT graduates…
- Use of Internet services (12th): internet users, online banking and shopping…
- Integration of digital technology (19th): e-commerce, cloud, big data…
- Digital public services (14th): e-Government users, digital public services for businesses, Open Data…
The first component, connectivity, is undoubtedly Luxembourg’s forte: improving its score by almost six points, the Grand Duchy climbs the European ranking achieving 3rd place. The Commission emphasises in particular the high coverage for next generation broadband (NGA) and very high capacity networks (VHCN).
Although scoring better than the EU average regarding the human capital dimension, Luxembourg still lost one place compared to its 2019 grade and now ranks 8th. According to the DESI 2020, the Grand Duchy’s population is above average with regards to digital literacy and the share of ICT specialists as a percentage of the total employment. On the downside, the European Commission notes that the country still struggles with significant labour shortages in terms of ICT specialists.
As for the degree of Integration of digital technology by businesses, Luxembourg drops one place and now ranks 19th. This is the only dimension for which the Grand Duchy performs below average, mainly due to the low share of SMEs selling their products online or across the border. However, Luxembourg ranks well above the EU average in terms of enterprises analysing big data or sharing information online.
Finally, regarding digital public services, Luxembourg has been improving its score for two consecutive years, jumping from 18th (2018) to 14th (2020), with a score 73.7. The EU Commission particularly highlights Luxembourg’s performances in the provision of digital public services to businesses, scoring 99 out of 100. On the other hand, the authors still see room for improvement on the level of online interaction between public authorities and citizens, with only 58% of internet users engaging with e-Government services.
The improvement of daily life at the heart of the technological development
These results perfectly reflect Luxembourg’s recent efforts and investments in becoming a key player in the digital sector. The government programme, presented in December of 2018, expresses the desire to place digitalisation at the centre of priorities. This is how, for the first time, a Ministry for Digitalisation was created, with the goal of advancing the technological development and new strategies, as well as improving the citizens' daily life and administrative procedures. Thus, the human being centre is always at the centre of all the Luxembourg Government’s efforts. With its artificial intelligence (AI) strategy the Luxembourg Government puts the individual at the centre of all AI services supported in the Grand Duchy.
Furthermore, the Ministry of the Economy launched its Data-Driven Innovation Strategy in 2019, aiming to seize the latest digital technological developments to achieve the digital economy of tomorrow. The national strategy for the introduction of 5G technology in Luxembourg was presented in September 2018. On a European level, Luxembourg signed the Declaration of European Blockchain Partnership and the Declaration on cooperation on Artificial Intelligence. In the field of supercomputing, Luxembourg is not only a founding member of the Euro HighPerformance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC), but also its headquarters. The newly purchased Luxembourg supercomputer Meluxina, is another example of the Grand Duchy's actions in favour of a digital society.
The complete ranking