Digital transition and the single market – why does it matter?
Beyond the free movement of goods, services, people and capital, the single market framework aims to achieve clear objectives for the digital transition of the EU economy and society. The indicators in this section measure the performance of the single market in selected areas relevant to this transition.
The indicators suggest that the digital transition is progressing. According to the 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) the largest growth took place in the connectivity dimension. However, the share of firms trading online across borders and the share of firms employing ICT specialists remained broadly stable in 2021 and 2020, respectively. Moreover, SMEs still lag behind large enterprises, particularly when it comes to e-commerce and employing ICT specialists.
Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI)
The DESI index tracks progress on EU countries’ digital performance.
It is expressed as an index weighted score ranging from 0 (lowest performance) to 100 (highest performance).
The following chart shows the trend in the overall indicator and its main dimensions: human capital, connectivity, integration of digital technologies, and digital public services.
Share of firms with e-sales across EU borders
This indicator measures the share of businesses that made electronic sales to other EU countries or the rest of the world, respectively. It refers to all manufacturing and services sectors, excluding the financial sector and agriculture.
The indicator covers enterprises with at least 10 employees or self-employed persons, therefore excluding micro-enterprises. It distinguishes between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the one hand and large enterprises. It also distinguishes between sales made to other EU countries (intra-EU) an sales made to the rest of the world (extra-EU).
Higher values suggest a higher degree of internationalisation supported by digital tools.
Sales taken into account are those made, during the previous calendar year, via any computer networks. This includes websites, electronic data interchange systems and other means of electronic data transfer. It excludes manually typed e-mails.
Share of EU firms employing ICT specialists
This indicator measures the share of SMEs responding to Eurostat’s survey on ICT usage and e-commerce in enterprises that employ ICT specialists. The indicator refers only to companies with at least 10 employees and self-employed persons, so it excludes micro-enterprises. It does not consider ICT skills provided through outsourcing.
Higher values indicate a higher degree of digitalisation of the businesses’ workforce.
Share of EU firms using big data analytics
This indicator measures the percentage of businesses that analyse big data - from any data source - internally.
Data refer to 2020 and are provided for enterprises with at least 10 employees and self-employed persons, therefore excluding micro-enterprises. The indicator shows the degree of use of big data analytics by size business and by Member State. As regards Greece, data are only available for large businesses.