The Czech Republic is among the top-30 world countries in terms of the quality of the digital environment, improving its ranking by four places compared to last year. On top of that, in the final ranking, the Czech Republic was ranked as the second-best country in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Czech Republic has scored 28th place in the DQL global ranking and 19th place in Europe ranking of digital infrastructure, placing the country higher than the rest of V4 countries – Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. In the evaluation of digital security, the Czech Republic scored second place after Greece.
This emerges from the 2021 Digital Quality of Life Index, conducted by cybersecurity company Surfshark. The study examined five areas of the digital environment – the availability of the Internet connection, its quality, digital infrastructure, digital security and eGovernment, ie the management of public affairs using modern technologies. It focused on 110 countries, in which 90 per cent of the world’s population lives.
Six European countries have ranked in the top 10 – Denmark, which defended last year’s championship, Finland, France, Switzerland, Germany and Great Britain. On the other hand, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guatemala and Angola are at the opposite end of the scale and ranked the lowest.
Although the Czech Republic has significantly increased its efforts in the field of digitization and e-Government in recent years, it still lags behind its European counterparts in many respects. There is room for improvement in terms of the quality of the Internet connection, where the Czech Republic ranked 53rd out of all countries surveyed, according to the study. In addition to the quality of connections, Czechia’s most problematic areas were the reachability of the Internet and eGovernment. However, although Czechia ranked 46th in the availability of the Internet, it has improved by 71% year-on-year in this indicator.
Nevertheless, the quality of the Czech digital environment is expected to grow on account of the anticipated investments into the digital transformation from the EU’s pandemic recovery budget. Roughly 22% of the funds allocated to the Czech Republic to support the digital transformation of the Czech economy. The European Commission has already disbursed 13% of the country’s total financial allocation in a pre-financing payment with the intention of helping to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Czechia’s recovery plan.
In the words of Alena Schillerová, the Czech Minister of Finance, the planned digitization projects aim mainly at improving communication between citizens and state authorities, ensuring faster internet and also at strengthening the cyber security of public administration, the justice system and the health care system. With such significant investments, the digitization of the public sector has the potential to reduce the administrative costs of communication between the state and the citizen by 15% to 20%, according to the European Union. Better access to data will also enable more efficient tax collection, a more systematic fight against financial fraud, and a better allocation of social assistance and benefits.