Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Slovakia

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Spider chart showing Slovakia's score in connectivity, human capital, digital public services, use of internet and integration of digital technology compared to the EU average score
Find here the most recent analysis and data by country. A selection of key documents and graphs are shown about topics such as broadband, internet activity and skills, egovernment, ICT in schools, research and innovation, as well as other main indicators.
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Slovakia has an overall score[1] of 0.42 and ranks 20th out of the 28 EU Member States.  Slovakians have a good level of digital skills (76% are regular Internet users, 59% possess at least basic digital skills, while 2.2% of the workforce are ICT specialists). This translates into Slovakians being quite active online: 65% read news online, 63% use social networks and 55% use voice or video calls via internet. Slovakians are also quite keen on using online banking (51%) and shopping online (58%). However, progress has to be made on Connectivity, namely in the development of fixed broadband networks, as 13% of Slovakian households are still not covered by fixed broadband. The weak supply of digital public services is another challenge for Slovakia's progress in the digital economy, where Slovakia is among the last in the EU. This status quo resulted in a significant drop of internet users that has engaged with the public administration and exchanged filled-in forms (from 40% in 2013 to 22% in 2014). Moreover, only 7.4% of general practitioners exchange medical data electronically (36% in the EU) and only 3.5% of general practitioners transfer prescriptions to pharmacists electronically (the country ranks 23th in the field).

Slovakia falls into the cluster of low‑performance[2] countries, where it performs above average.

 

DESISlovakiaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015200.420.390.48
DESI 2014200.40.330.45

1. Connectivity

1 ConnectivitySlovakiaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015210.480.480.56
DESI 2014220.410.390.51

 

Connectivity is one of the DESI 2015 dimensions where Slovakia performs weakly. The country ranks 21st among EU countries with an overall Connectivity score of 0.48. The main reason for this low ranking is that 13% of Slovakian households are still not covered by fixed broadband. Despite this fact, take-up of both fixed and fast broadband has grown over the last year. 

 

 SlovakiaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
1a1 Fixed BB Coverage
% households
87%
(2014)
 2787%
(2013)
2797%
(2014)
1a2 Fixed BB Take-up
% households
70%
(2014)
 1163%
(2013)
1470%
(2014)
1b1 Mobile BB Take-up
Subscribers per 100 people
62
(2014)
 1750
(2013)
2172
(2014)
1b2 Spectrum
% of the target for spectrum to be harmonised at EU level
77%
(2014)
 977%
(2013)
970%
(2014)
1c1 NGA Coverage
% households, out of all households
63%
(2014)
 2354%
(2013)
2368%
(2014)
1c2 Subscriptions to Fast BB
% of subscriptions >= 30Mbps, out of fixed BB subscriptions
28%
(2014)
 1526%
(2013)
1226%
(2014)
1d1 Fixed BB Price
% individual gross income spent for the cheapest standalone Fixed Broadband subscription (lower values are better)
1.2%
(2014)
 121.3%
(2013)
121.4%
(2014)

 

At the end of 2014, fixed broadband networks were available to 87% of homes in Slovakia (well below the EU average of 97%). Moreover, in rural areas, fixed broadband reached only 82% of homes. Fast broadband networks (providing at least 30 Mbps) were available to 63% of homes (68% in the EU). The main challenge for the Slovak Digital Economy is better coverage of fixed broadband networks.

One of the culprits for the country's low fixed broadband coverage stems from the failure to absorb resources from the Operational Programme Information Society in the previous programming period (2007-2014). Slovakia needs to improve management and co-ordination of the structural funds, for example by addressing the lengthy and cumbersome process for obtaining authorisations for construction works.

On the demand side, Slovakia has improved the take-up of fixed broadband; moreover, 28% of these subscriptions are for fast connections (at least 30 Mbps), greater than the EU average of 26%. This trend is positive given the affordability issue of broadband in this country: the subscription price, expressed as a share of gross income, is lower than the EU average and has become cheaper over the last year. An individual seeking to subscribe to a broadband connection[3] must spend on average 1.2% of her gross income, which is less than the overall EU average of 1.4%.

 

 Download the Report on the Implementation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Package (EN)

2. Human Capital

2 Human CapitalSlovakiaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015140.530.420.54
DESI 2014130.520.350.52

 

Human Capital is the DESI 2015 dimension where Slovakia performs best, with a score of 0.53, and despite losing one position in the ranking of EU countries from the previous year (from 13th to 14th).

 

 SlovakiaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
2a1 Internet Users
% individuals (aged 16-74)
76%
(2014)
 1274%
(2013)
1375%
(2014)
2a2 Basic Digital Skills
% individuals (aged 16-74)
59%
(2014)
 1260%
(2012)
959%
(2014)
2b1 ICT Specialists
% employed individuals
2.2%
(2012)
 182.2%
(2012)
182.8%
(2012)
2b2 STEM Graduates
Graduates in STEM per 1000 individuals (aged 20 to 29)
18
(2012)
 1118
(2012)
1117
(2012)

 

The number of regular Internet users in Slovakia (76%) grew slightly from the previous year and is just above the EU average.

Almost 59% of the Slovakian population possess at least basic digital skills. This equals to the EU average. Slovakia has also a fair share of ICT specialists[4] in the workforce (2.2%). The recent re-introduction of mathematics as a mandatory subject at the school-leaving examination may contribute to improve the share of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduates in Slovakia. This now amounts to 1.8% of Slovakians aged 20-29 years old.

3. Use of Internet

3 Use of InternetSlovakiaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015220.410.40.43
DESI 2014190.390.340.41

 

In terms of the propensity of individuals to use Internet services, Slovakia scores 0.41 (up from 0.39 last year) and ranks 22nd among EU countries. The use of internet by Slovakians is still growing and it is nearing to the EU average.

 

 SlovakiaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
3a1 News
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
65%
(2014)
 2255%
(2013)
2367%
(2014)
3a2 Music, Videos and Games
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
35%
(2014)
 2742%
(2012)
2349%
(2014)
3a3 Video on Demand
% households that have a TV
12%
(2014)
 2111%
(2013)
2241%
(2014)
3b1 Video Calls
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
55%
(2014)
 551%
(2013)
737%
(2014)
3b2 Social Networks
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
63%
(2014)
 1662%
(2013)
1258%
(2014)
3c1 Banking
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
51%
(2014)
 1750%
(2013)
1857%
(2014)
3c2 Shopping
% individuals who used Internet in the last year (aged 16-74)
58%
(2014)
 1355%
(2013)
1363%
(2014)

 

Slovakian Internet users engage in a broad range of online activities. They read news online (65%), listen to music, watch films and play games online (35%), use the Internet to communicate through social networks (63%), Voice or video calls via internet are particularly popular (55%). On the other hand, far less common is to obtain video content using their broadband connections. Slovakian Internet users are quite keen on using online banking (51%) or shop online (58%) too. For most of these activities, engagement among Slovakians is similar to the European average.

4. Integration of Digital Technology

4 Integration of Digital TechnologySlovakiaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015180.30.270.33
DESI 2014120.360.240.3

 

In Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, Slovakia scores 0.3 and ranks 18th among EU countries. Slovakia dropped six positions in the ranking for this dimension from last year essentially because it performed worse on individual indicators where the performance of its EU counterparts has improved. Slovakia’s businesses need to better exploit the possibilities offered by on-line commerce, social media and electronic sharing of information.

 

 SlovakiaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
4a1 Electronic Information Sharing
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
28%
(2014)
 1833%
(2013)
1031%
(2014)
4a2 RFID
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
3%
(2014)
 202.7%
(2011)
73.8%
(2014)
4a3 Social Media
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
10%
(2014)
 2012%
(2013)
1914%
(2014)
4a4 eInvoices
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
n.a. -14%
(2013)
911%
(2014)
4a5 Cloud
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
13%
(2014)
 10n.a.-11%
(2014)
4b1 SMEs Selling Online
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
11%
(2014)
 1917%
(2013)
1015%
(2014)
4b2 eCommerce Turnover
% turnover of SMEs (no financial sector, 10-249 employees)
6%
(2014)
 219.9%
(2013)
68.8%
(2014)
4b3 Selling Online Cross-border
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
8.1%
(2013)
 138.1%
(2013)
136.5%
(2013)

 

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, Slovakia has still 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 – 28%), radio-frequency identification  (RFID -3%) or social media (10%) in Slovakia is below the EU (with the exception of cloud storage). Without digitisation and the efficiency and productivity gains obtained thereof, Slovakian businesses will struggle to make it in the global digital economy.

Slovakian businesses need also to take advantage of the possibilities offered by on-line commerce. The share of Slovakian SMEs selling online dropped last year from 17% to 11%, and those who do sell online make a relatively small share of their turnover from those sales (6%, down from 9.9%). Less SMEs sell online to other EU member states (8.1%).

5. Digital Public Services

5 Digital Public ServicesSlovakiaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015270.270.340.47
DESI 2014260.270.330.45

 

In the Digital Public Services dimension Slovakia scores 0.27, its weakest score among the five DESI 2015 dimensions, where Slovakia ranks 27th. There are significant shortcomings that need to be addressed on the supply-side of Slovakian digital public services.

 

 SlovakiaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
5a1 eGovernment Users
% individuals returning filled forms, out of Internet users in the last year (aged 16-74)
20%
(2014)
 2219%
(2013)
1833%
(2014)
5a2 Pre-filled Forms
Score (0 to 100)
22
(2014)
 21n.a.-45
(2014)
5a3 Online Service Completion
Score (0 to 100)
46
(2014)
 2744
(2013)
2875
(2014)
5a4 Open Data
Score (0 to 700)
380
(2014)
 14n.a.-378
(2014)
5b1 Medical Data Exchange
% General Practitioners
7.4%
(2013)
 277.4%
(2013)
2736%
(2013)
5b2 ePrescription
% General Practitioners
3.5%
(2013)
 233.5%
(2013)
2327%
(2013)

 

Modern public services offered online in an efficient manner are a vehicle for reducing public spending as well as for efficiency gains for enterprises, citizens and the public administration itself. A fifth of internet users has engaged with the public administration and exchanged filled-in forms. But on the supply side, indicator scores[5] place Slovakia among the last in the EU and show that the level of sophistication of its services needs to improve significantly.

The efficiency and degree of service offered by health systems can be greatly improved through digitisation. Slovakia’s performance in eHealth can be improved, namely by encouraging a greater adoption of medical data exchange (only 7.4% of Slovakian general practitioners exchange medical data electronically, versus 36% in the EU). The same holds true for a weak use of ePrescription, where the fact that only 3.5% of its general practitioners transfer prescriptions to pharmacists electronically makes it rank 23th among EU countries.

 

 Download the eGovernment benchmark factsheet (EN)

6. R&D

 Download information on R&D in the ICT sector and participation in Horizon 2020 (EN)


[1] DESI scores range from 0 to 1, the higher the score the better the country performance.

[2] In the DESI 2015, the low-performance cluster of countries comprises Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

[3] Calculations performed taking into account the price of the least expensive standalone fixed broadband connection offering speeds between 12 Mbps and 30 Mbps.

[4] Broad definition taken from JRC (IPTS) "The evolution of EU ICT employment 2000-2012" Technical report (forthcoming): ISCO codes 25 and 35, plus ICT graduates in certain adjacent ISCO codes.

[5] 22/100 in the Pre-filled Forms indicator (measuring the extent to which data that is already known to the public administration is pre-filled in the forms that are presented to the user), and of 46/100 in the Online Service Completion indicator (measuring the extent to which the various steps in an interaction with the public administration – life event – can be performed completely online).

 

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Last updated on 18/06/2015