‘’The government is aware of how much the digital society policy is crucial to the future development of Croatia thus by the end of this year it will create the Strategy of digital Croatia for the next ten years’’, announced the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković at the conference titled ‘’Unified digital market-challenges in the digital transformation of the business sector’’ held in Zagreb a few days ago.
Plenković also emphasized that the digital economy is growing seven times faster than the classic one, and that digital skills are necessary for the development of the digital economy in Croatia. He also revealed that according to the latest Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) of the EU member countries published by the European Commission, almost 45 percent citizens in Croatia have no basic digital skills.
In other words, according to the European Commission, almost half of the Croatian population have no knowledge of using the internet to purchase goods and services or anything more advanced with which they could compete on the labour market.
DESI for 2017 also reveals that this indicator is often masked by the fact that Croats mostly use the internet for information and entertainment. When it comes to reading news online, around 90 percent of Croats use the internet for this purpose ranking Croatia the 2nd in the European Union.
Furthermore, the country is ranked the 8th in listening to music, watching video and playing games online (85% of Croatia’s citizens), and the 14th in using social networks (69% of citizens). All and all, out of the 28 EU member countries, Croatia is ranked as the 24th on the DESI’s list.
Apart from the exceptionally bad position in digital public services within the DESI index, the Vice President of the European Commission for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip criticized only one aspect of DESI.
‘’According to DESI, the fastest internet access price in Croatia is the highest in the European Union. If the EU citizens pay the average price for fixed internet access 1,2 percent of their monthly budget, then it is surprise that in Croatia they have to pay 2,9 percent’’, commented Ansip. He also added that it is not an easy task to deal with, but that connectivity for the development of the economy and the unified digital market is very important.