Digitalisation has often been called the "fourth industrial revolution". The digital transformation of the European economy and public sector is of vital importance to ensure Europe’s competitive advantage in the global economy and to deliver growth and jobs.

The EU still has a strong position in the world in terms of digital transformation. 25 EU countries score higher than the OECD average for ICT indicators. Nine out of the ten nations with the fastest broadband in the world are located in Europe.

However, the differences in broadband speed among European regions are still tremendous and clearly impact the development chances. This effect is called the digital divide (Source: European Commission). Northern and Western Europe generally have a better performance than Southern, Central and Eastern Europe. An analysis done by the World Economic Forum shows that the gap between North-Western Europe and the rest can be seen in all areas the report analysed, for example, in market and regulatory conditions, level of ICT uptake, level of usage by citizens, government and companies. The report points out that "the gap in ICT usage across countries is bigger for businesses than for governments."

Read the full brief.