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Finland ranks first in EU digital comparison

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of FinanceMinistry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 28.7.2022 14.08
Press release
Developing the Digital Transformation, the Data Economy and Public Administration.

Finland ranked first 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 has been at the top of the list for several years, ranking number two in 2021 and number one in 2019 and 2020.

The maximum score in the DESI comparison is 100. Finland's score this year is 69.6. The EU average is 52.3. Ranked after Finland in the digital performance comparison are Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden. 

The Ministerial working group on developing the digital transformation, the data economy and public administration is pleased with the results. Finland’s continued success is an indication that work towards digitalisation is being done effectively across administrative boundaries and that technology and information are being harnessed to create a sustainable future for everyone. 

“Finland’s top position tells us that we have done many things right in promoting digitalisation. However, our success so far has only laid the foundation for the work to come, and Finland needs to systematically continue our ambitious digital and technology policy,” says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero, who is responsible for digitalisation in public administration.

“Finns make heavy and diverse use of the world's best mobile data in their everyday lives. Companies have also started to take advantage of the opportunities offered by 5G. We are managing cyber security and the data economy with even more determination than before so that Finland can maintain its position as a successful digital powerhouse,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka

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, and digital public services.

Finland’s strengths include digital skills and cyber security

Finland remains a leader in most DESI indicators and improved its scores in a few indicators where it was already performing excellently. Finland ranked first, for example, in the integration of digital technology by businesses.

“The use of key digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data, in companies remains too limited in the EU. We can be proud that Finland ranks first in this area, too. The digital transformation supports domestic entrepreneurship and creativity regardless of location. At the same time, the development of digitalisation in the entire EU and in European companies is vital to ensure the Union’s competitiveness globally,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

The report mentions extensive basic digital skills and a strong tradition of preparedness in data and cyber security as Finland's particular strengths. The Finnish authorities have clear roles and tasks in the field of cyber defence. 

The results take into account the digital compass that is currently being prepared and which will define national targets and indicators for the goals of Europe’s Digital Decade and create a shared vision of the long-term digital transformation. In line with the EU Digital Compass, Finland’s digital compass revolves around four cardinal points: skills, digital infrastructure, the digital transformation of businesses, and digital public services.

According to the country report, Finland is a leader in 5G commercial service provision. In contrast, the report identifies the coverage of very high capacity networks in rural areas as a challenge for Finland. A new broadband project will support the construction of fixed networks starting in 2022. The aim of the programme is to support the construction of high-speed fixed broadband networks in areas where commercial offerings are unlikely to be available in the next few years.

Valtteri Aaltonen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Local Government, tel. +358 295 530 399, 
Antti Malste, Special Adviser to the Minister of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50 400 1628
Matias Ollila, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 295 047 412
Mika Nordman, Director of Digital Services, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 142 (available starting 1 August)
Satu Vasamo-Koskinen, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 073
Sonja Töyrylä, Senior Officer, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 295 342 459
Anna Wennäkoski, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 295 342 046