In terms of the propensity of individuals to use Internet services, Romania scores 0.34 (up from 0.31) and ranks 27th among EU countries.
Romanian Internet users engage in a broad range of online activities. They read news online (67%), listen to music, watch films and play games online (46%), use the Internet to communicate via voice or video calls (42%) or through social networks (78%), and obtain video content using their broadband connections (mostly though Video on Demand – 36%). Compared to last year, for most of these activities Romanians engagement is lower with the exception of the use of social networks which featured the highest increase.
While Romanians are keen to engage especially in social networks they are very reluctant to engage in online transactions. Despite progress, the shares of Romanian Internet users that use online banking (9.6%) or shop online (18%) are the lowest of all EU countries. This is the key challenge for Romania in terms of Internet use by its citizens, because a digital economy is partly fuelled by its citizens’ trust in the online channel.
Integration of Digital Technology
Despite some progress, in Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, Romania scores 0.2, its lowest score and falling to the last position in the EU.
A true digital economy is one where businesses take full advantage of the possibilities and benefits offered by digital technologies, both to improve their efficiency and productivity, as well as to reach costumers and realise sales. To that end, Romania has a long way to go.
The adoption of digital technologies is an important driver of labour productivity growth and needs to be strengthened. The percentage of businesses using technologies such as electronic information sharing (ERP – 22%) or social media (6.5%) in Romania is the lowest in the EU. The use of Cloud services doubled and reaches 5.7% but still is one of the lowest in the EU. Without digitisation and the efficiency and productivity gains obtained thereof, Romanian businesses will struggle to make it in the global digital economy.
Romanian businesses need also to take advantage of the possibilities offered by on-line commerce. Very few SMEs in Romania sell online (7.4%), even less SMEs sell online to other EU member states (1.9%), and those who do sell online make a very small share of their turnover from those sales (4.9%). Without the exploitation of on-line commerce Romanian businesses will have difficulties in competing in the global digital economy.
Digital Public Services
For Digital Public Services Romania scores 0.33 (up from 0.27 last year) and improved its ranking to the 27 th position.
Modern public services offered online in an efficient manner are a vehicle for reduction of public administration expenditure as well as for efficiency gains for both enterprises and citizens. Romania’s offer for online public services is among the least sophisticated. Its indicator scores8 place it among the last in the EU and show that the level of sophistication of its services needs to improve. Better online public services will also likely improve Romania’s percentage of eGovernment users (8% of Internet users, the lowest in the EU).
Romanian made significant progress on promoting Open Data scoring 435 (up from 270).
Source: The Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI)