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The digital economy in Italy is experiencing significant growth, driven by advancements in technology and strategic investments. The country’s digital market is projected to reach approximately $2.77 billion in 2024, with significant contributions from sectors like security services, cloud computing, and AI. AI, in particular, is expected to add substantial value to the Italian economy, potentially contributing up to €312 billion annually, equivalent to 18% of the GDP​.

Internet governance

Internet governance in Italy involves a combination of policies, regulations, and collaborative efforts aimed at managing the internet’s growth, ensuring security, and promoting digital inclusivity. Here are some key elements and recent developments in Italy’s approach to internet governance:

Regulatory Framework

Italy’s internet governance framework is shaped by both national regulations and European Union directives. The country adheres to the principles set out by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ensuring the protection of personal data and privacy for individuals. Additionally, Italian authorities work to implement the EU’s Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, which aim to create a safer and more open digital space.

The Role of the Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digitalization

The Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digitalization spearheads many initiatives related to internet governance. It focuses on digital transformation, cybersecurity, and the promotion of digital skills among the population. The ministry’s strategies aim to create a cohesive and secure digital environment, fostering innovation and economic growth.

AgID (Agency for Digital Italy)

AgID plays a significant role in overseeing internet governance in Italy. The agency is responsible for promoting digital innovation, enhancing cybersecurity, and ensuring the effective implementation of digital policies. AgID also works on developing standards and guidelines to improve internet infrastructure and services.

Open Data and Transparency

Italy promotes open data policies to enhance transparency and accountability in public administration. The national open data portal provides access to a wealth of government data, fostering innovation and enabling citizens to engage more actively with public institutions.

Internet Governance Debate

Italian stakeholders are active participants in various internet governance forums and initiatives at the regional and global levels. Italian stakeholders also participate in the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) events, which bring together stakeholders from the region to discuss digital policy-related issues and challenges. At the global level, Italy is a member of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Italy also has a national internet governance initiative called IGF Italy, which was established as a bottom-up, multistakeholder platform for discussing internet-related public policy issues within the country.

Digital strategies

Digital governance in Italy has been steadily evolving, with a strong focus on enhancing public administration efficiency, improving citizen services, and fostering a robust digital economy. Here are the key aspects of digital governance in Italy:

Digital Transformation

Italy’s digital transformation is driven by the Italia Digitale 2026 strategy. The strategy is a comprehensive strategy within Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), launched to support the country’s recovery post-pandemic and address issues such as low growth and high unemployment. It aims to achieve its goals faster than the European Commission’s Digital Compass 2030, leveraging substantial PNRR funds.

The strategy focuses on ensuring nationwide ultra-broadband connectivity, enabling high-speed internet access across Italy. It aims to connect all schools and healthcare facilities with ultra-broadband, providing widespread access to educational content and healthcare services. Both private and public sectors will transition to secure and efficient cloud technologies to enhance the security and reliability of digital services. Fully digitized and interconnected public service platforms will be developed, minimizing the need for citizens to provide information to public authorities repeatedly.

Another important initiative is the ‘Three-Year Plan for Information Technology in Public Administration,’ which outlines a comprehensive roadmap for modernizing the public sector. This plan emphasizes integrating digital technologies to improve public services, enhance transparency, and reduce administrative burdens.

Digital Healthcare

Italy has made significant strides in digitizing its healthcare system. The Electronic Health Record (Fascicolo Sanitario Elettronico) allows citizens to access their medical records online, facilitating better coordination of care and more efficient health services.

Digital Education and Skills

Italy recognizes the importance of digital literacy and skills in driving its digital transformation. Initiatives such as the National Plan for Digital Education aim to integrate digital technologies into the education system, preparing students and the workforce for the demands of the digital economy.

Internet Infrastructure

Italy has invested significantly in expanding and upgrading its internet infrastructure. The country is working towards achieving widespread broadband coverage, including in rural and underserved areas. Initiatives like the National Ultra-Broadband Plan aim to provide high-speed internet access to all citizens, reducing the digital divide and fostering economic development.


In recent years, Italy has been actively enhancing its cybersecurity landscape to address the evolving nature of cyber threats. The country has seen a significant increase in cyberattacks, particularly ransomware incidents targeting critical infrastructure and businesses.

Regulatory and Strategic Development

National Cybersecurity Agency (ACN): Established by Decree-Law No. 82 in 2021, the ACN plays a central role in Italy’s cybersecurity strategy. The agency is tasked with protecting national interests in cyberspace and has recently been granted additional responsibilities, including promoting AI-driven cybersecurity initiatives and ensuring coordination between the ACN and judiciary in cases of cyberattacks.

National Cybersecurity Strategy 2022-2026: This strategy aims to bolster national cyber resilience and foster innovative cybersecurity solutions. It includes measures for public administrations and significant entities to enhance their cyber defenses, mandating the appointment of cybersecurity liaisons and establishing stringent incident reporting requirements.

Legislative Measures: Italy has incorporated the EU’s NIS 2 Directive, which imposes strict cybersecurity requirements on essential service operators and digital service providers. Additionally, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs data protection, with Italy being one of the most active enforcers in terms of issuing fines for non-compliance.

CoE Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention): Italy has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention, which provides a comprehensive framework for international cooperation in combating cybercrime.

      AI strategies and policies

      In June 2022, Italy adopted the National Strategic Programme on Artificial Intelligence for 2022-2024. This comprehensive plan, developed by the Italian Government, is aimed at fostering a robust national AI ecosystem. The programme’s primary goals are to strengthen and attract AI talent, expand funding for advanced AI research, and encourage the adoption of AI technologies in both public administration and the broader Italian economy.

      The programme is built around six key objectives designed to drive AI development across various sectors. These objectives include advancing frontier research in AI, fostering collaboration to reduce research fragmentation, and ensuring that AI solutions are human-centred, trustworthy, and compliant with ethical standards. Additionally, the programme aims to boost AI-driven innovation in industries, enhance the efficiency of public administration through AI, and attract and retain top AI talent by promoting comprehensive educational initiatives.

      Italy’s AI strategy identifies eleven priority sectors where the country intends to focus its investments. These sectors include industry and manufacturing, the education system, agri-food, culture and tourism, health and wellbeing, the environment and infrastructure, banking and finance, public administration, smart cities and communities, national security, and information technologies. By targeting these areas, the programme seeks to leverage AI to drive economic growth, improve public services, and address societal challenges.

      The strategic programme outlines three main areas of intervention to achieve its objectives. The first area focuses on strengthening and attracting the talents and competencies necessary for an AI-driven economy. This involves initiatives to promote AI education at all levels, from primary schools to advanced PhD programmes, as well as measures to attract foreign AI professionals to Italy. The second area of intervention is expanding funding for advanced AI research. This includes supporting fundamental and applied research projects, fostering collaborations between research institutions and industry, and developing cutting-edge AI research infrastructures. The third area of intervention aims to favor the adoption of AI applications in public administration and the Italian economy at large. This involves encouraging public and private sectors to integrate AI solutions into their operations, thereby enhancing efficiency and competitiveness.

      To support these areas, the Strategic Programme sets forth 24 policy initiatives that Italy should embrace. These initiatives are designed to create a conducive environment for AI innovation, ensure ethical AI practices, and promote the widespread adoption of AI technologies. By implementing these initiatives, Italy aims to position itself as a leader in AI, driving technological advancements and economic growth while ensuring that AI development benefits society as a whole.

      G7 presidency 2024

      During its G7 presidency in 2024, Italy is prioritising AI governance. The country is working on international guiding principles and a code of conduct for AI, focusing on ethical boundaries, transparency, and human-centred development. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has emphasized the need for international cooperation to address the challenges of AI and digital transformation.


      General profile

      Official name: Italian Republic

      Source: Wikipedia

      National internet domain: IT

      Source: Wikipedia

      Area: 301,338 km2

      Source: Wikipedia

      Capital: Rome

      Source: Wikipedia

      Population: 58.9 million

      Source: Wikipedia

      Population growth: -0.3

      Annual population growth rate for year t is the exponential rate of growth of midyear population from year t-1 to t, expressed as a percentage. Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship.
      Source: World Bank Open Data

      Life expectancy at birth: 82.80

      Total years (2020year) Source: databank.worldbank.org

      Rule of law estimate: 0.27

      Rule of Law captures perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5 (Estimate 2021)
      Source: databank.worldbank.org

      Regulatory quality estimate: 0.5

      Regulatory Quality captures perceptions of the ability of the government to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5 (Estimate 2021)
      Source: databank.worldbank.org

      Political stability: 0.58

      Political Stability and Absence of Violence / Terrorism: measures perceptions of the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means, including politically-motivated violence and terrorism. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5 (Estimate 2021)
      Source: databank.worldbank.org

      Economic info

      Currency: Euro

      Source: Wikipedia

      Unemployment: 7.7

      Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) Source: databank.worldbank.org

      GDP (current US$): 2 trillion

      Source: databank.worldbank.org

      GDP growth (annual %): 3.7

      Source: databank.worldbank.org

      GDP per capita (current US$): 34,776.4

      Source: databank.worldbank.org

      Inflation, consumer prices (annual %): 8.2

      Source: databank.worldbank.org

      GNI (current US$): 2 trillion

      The Gross National Income, GNI, formerly referred to as gross national product (GNP), measures the total domestic and foreign value added claimed by residents, at a given period in time, usually a year, expressed in current US dollars using the World Bank Atlas method. GNI comprises GDP plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from non-resident sources. Source: databank.worldbank.org

      Ease of doing business score: 72.85

      The ease of doing business score benchmarked economies concerning their proximity to the best performance in each area measured by Doing Business for the year 2019. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from0 = lowest performance to 100 = best performance Source: databank.worldbank.org

      Digital profile

      Internet and social media penetration:

      Individuals using the internet: 85.1 (2022)

      Individuals using the internet, total (%) Source: www.itu.int

      Social media statistics: 42.80 million

      Estimate for 2024
      Source: datareportal.com

      Male internet users: 86.3 (2022)

      Male internet users as a % of total male population
      Source: www.itu.int

      Facebook users: 26.10 million

      Estimate for 2024
      Source: datareportal.com

      Female internet users: 83.6 (2022)

      Female Internet users as a % of total female population
      Source: www.itu.int

      Instagram users: 27.00 million

      Estimate for 2024
      Source: datareportal.com

      Households with internet access at home: 83.1 (2022)

      Households with internet access at home (%) Source: www.itu.int

      Linkedin users: 20.00 million

      Estimate for 2024
      Source: datareportal.com

      Fixed broadband subscriptions: 33.8 (2022)

      Total fixed broadband subscriptions (per 100 people) refers to fixed subscriptions to high-speed access to the public internet (a TCP/IP connection), at downstream speeds equal to, or greater than, 256 kbit/s.
      Source: www.itu.int

      Twitter users: 6.50 million

      Estimate for 2024
      Source: datareportal.com

      Mobile infrastructure and access:

      Mobile ownership: 93.7

      Mobile phone ownership as a % of total population (Estimate for 2021)
      Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

      Mobile Infrastructure: 80.6

      Mobile Infrastructure index: High-performance mobile internet coverage availability. It includes parameters such as network coverage, performance, quality of supporting infrastructure and amount of spectrum assigned to mobile network operators (Estimate for 2021)
      Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

      Male mobile ownership: 96.5 (2022)

      Male mobile phone ownership as a % of total male population
      Source: www.itu.int

      Mobile Affordability: 71.9

      Mobile Affordability index : The availability of mobile services and devices at price points that reflect the level of income across a national population. It includes parameters such as mobile tariffs, headset prices, taxation and inequality (Estimate for 2022)
      Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

      Female mobile ownership: 96.5 (2022)

      Female mobile phone ownership as a % of total female population
      Source: www.itu.int

      Cybersecurity Index: 96.04

      Cybersecurity Index (Estimate for 2021): ITU cybersecurity value
      Source: www.itu.int

      Network performance: 62.5

      Network performance index: Quality of mobile services measured by download speed, upload speed and latencies (Estimate for 2022)
      Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

      Mobile download speeds: 47.7

      Mobile download speeds: Average download speed for mobile users (originally in Mbit/s) (Estimate for 2022)
      Source: Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence

      Mobile uploads speeds: 57.2

      Mobile uploads speeds: average uploads speed for mobile users (originally in Mbit/s) (Estimate for 2022)
      Source: Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence

      Mobile Latencies: 82.6

      Mobile Latencies: Average latency for mobile users (originally in milliseconds) (Estimate for 2022)
      Source: Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence

      Speedtest-Broadband: 51.4

      Speedtest-Broadband: The value is expressed in Mbps (Estimate for 2024)
      Source: https://www.speedtest.net/global-index

      Network coverage: 99.5

      Network coverage (% of total population) (Estimate for 2022)
      Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

      2G Coverage: 100.0

      Coverage % of population
      Source: www.itu.int

      3G Coverage: 99.5

      Coverage % of population
      Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

      4G Coverage: 100.0

      Coverage % of population
      Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

      5G Coverage: 97.0

      Coverage % of population
      Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

      Operating system and browser market share estimate:

      Operating system market share (%):

      Desktop, Tablet & Console Operating System Market Share: Estimate for 2022
      Source: https://gs.statcounter.com/

      Browser market share (%):

      Browser Market Share Worldwide: Estimate for 2022
      Source: https://gs.statcounter.com/

      Android: 37.92

      Chrome: 65.22

      Win10: 24.22

      Safari: 19.92

      iOS: 17.35

      Edge: 4.24

      OS X: 7.64

      Firefox: 4.55

      Win11: 6.43

      Samsung Internet: 3.45

      The UN E-Government Survey 2022:

      The UN E-Government Survey is the assessment of the digital government landscape across all UN member states. The E-Government Survey is informed by over two decades of longitudinal research, with a ranking of countries based on the UN E-Government Development Index (EGDI), a combination of primary data (collected and owned by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and secondary data from other UN agencies.

      E-Government Rank: 37

      Nations E-Government Development Index (EGDI), a combination of primary data (collected and owned by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and secondary data from other UN agencies. Estimate gives the country's rank.
      Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

      E-Government Index: 0.84

      The EGDI is a composite measure of three important dimensions of e-government, namely: provision of online services, telecommunication connectivity and human capacity. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
      Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

      E-Participation Index: 0.73

      The E-Participation Index (EPI) is derived as a supplementary index to the United Nations E-Government Survey. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
      Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

      Online Service Index: 0.87

      The online services index was developed by the UN to evaluate the scope and quality of government online services. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
      Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-cente

      Human Capital Index: 0.86

      The Human Capital Index (HCI) quantiï¬_x0081_es the contribution of health and education to the productivity of the next generation of workers. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
      Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

      Telecommunication Infrastructure Index: 0.79

      Telecommunication Infrastructure Index- Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII) Composite Indicator that measures the countries' Telecommunication infrastructure readiness to adopt the opportunities offered by Information and Communication Technology as to enhance their competitiveness. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
      Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

      ICT information:

      ICT skills

      Information economy indicators

      Individuals with basic ICT skills (%): 44.7 (2016)

      Source: www.itu.int

      Share of ICT goods, % of total exports (value) 2.01 (2021)

      Source: https://unctadstat.unctad.org/

      Individuals with standard ICT skills (%): 6.3 (2019)

      Source: www.itu.int

      Share of ICT goods, % of total import (value): 5.11 (2021)

      Source: https://unctadstat.unctad.org/

      Individuals with advanced ICT skills (%): 4.3 (2016)

      Source: www.itu.int

      Most visited website: wikipedia.org

      The survey conducted in 2022 excluded global dominant sites (e.g., YouTube, Facebook, and Google) and search engines (e.g., Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, Naver, and Yandex) to level the playing field and discount middle-man visits. Likewise, it did not include adult, betting, illegal streaming/downloading services, and malicious websites.
      Source: https://www.hostinger.com/tutorials/the-most-visited-website-in-every-country