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Photograph: hr.wikipedia.org

The European Commission has published its Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) for 2016, which ranks Croatia 24th among 28 EU member-states, however, it notes that Croatia is among countries approaching the European average at a fast pace, the Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM) said on Thursday.

DESI is a composite index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe's digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness. It is calculated as a weighted average of five main categories: connectivity, human capital, use of Internet, integration of digital technology and digital public services.

The EU on the whole has been making progress, with DESI in 2016 for the entire EU being 0.52 as against 0.50 in 2015.

DESI for Croatia was 0.42, putting it in 24th place among 28 EU countries, the same place as in 2015, when its DESI was 0.38.

Croatia saw the highest growth in the value of the index of all EU countries, with an annual growth rate of 0.04, which puts it in the group of countries approaching the EU average at a fast rate. The other countries in the group are Spain, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Slovenia, HAKOM says.

To make further progress, Croatia needs to increase the digital capacity of households, reduce imbalances in regional development and increase citizens' purchasing power, HAKOM says.

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