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European Commission welcomes Member States' declaration on EU Cloud federation

The Commission welcomes the Joint declaration by 25 EU Member States on building the next generation of Cloud in Europe. Advancing European Cloud offers is essential to increase the competitiveness of European businesses and provide European citizens, as well as public administrations and companies everywhere, with greater choice regarding the trustworthy data processing infrastructure and services that they need to develop future data-driven innovation and emerging technologies, such as 5G/6G and artificial intelligence.

The European Commission and the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union welcome the political will expressed by all 27 Member States on the next generation Cloud for Europe. This secure and competitive Cloud offering is essential to provide the trustworthy data processing infrastructure and services that public administrations, businesses and citizens require in Europe.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, stated: "Europe needs to join forces to lead on the current and upcoming wave of industrial and public data. This declaration is promising and shows the depth of the change that we witness. There is a common understanding that it is vital that any data can be stored and processed in Europe, according to European rules and standards. That will be a key pillar of our digital sovereignty for this Digital Decade and will propel Europe's recovery, ensure long-term competitiveness and help us reach climate sustainability."

To pool forces and lead the Cloud uptake in the private and public sectors across Europe, Member States agreed that their joint actions will focus on: combining private, national and EU investment efforts in deploying resilient and secure cloud infrastructures and services and supporting the development of a competitive European Cloud supply industry and Europe as a global data hub; defining a common European approach on federating Cloud capacities, by working towards one set of joint technical solutions and policy norms in order to foster pan-European interoperable EU Cloud services; leading the shift towards more secure, interoperable and energy-efficient data centres and Cloud services in particular for small and medium enterprises, start-ups and the public sector.

The Commission, together with Member States, aims to create more synergies between national and cross-border initiatives to enhance and broaden their interoperability, scale-up and scope. To this aim, the next step will be the launch of a European Alliance on Industrial Data and Cloud, as announced in the European Data strategy of February 2020. Interested Member States, industries and experts will work together to design the detailed business, investment and implementation plans to deploy the next generation Cloud.

In this milestone achievement, the signatory Member States agree to work together towards deploying resilient and competitive Cloud infrastructure and services across Europe.

Cloud computing enables data-driven innovation and emerging technologies, such as 5G/6G, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. It allows European businesses and the public sector to run and store their data safely, according to European rules and standards. The EU now has a unique opportunity to tap into the need for more data sharing and decentralised data processing, closer to the user.

A common approach to building the European Cloud supply will reinforce Europe's digital sovereignty and increase the competitiveness of European business and industry. In parallel, it will support digitalisation for efficient public administrations, better health care and a cleaner, more sustainable environment.

Member States recognise the need for additional investment, enhanced synergies across national initiatives and a coordinated strategy to lead the Cloud uptake in the private and public sectors across Europe. In particular, as agreed in the Declaration, the Member States' joint actions will focus on:

  • Combining private, national and EU investment in deploying competitive, green and secure Cloud infrastructures and services. This will mean pursuing the next steps together with industry and experts to shape the European Alliance on Industrial Data and Cloud.
  • Defining a common European approach on federating Cloud capacities, by working towards one set of joint technical solutions and policy norms in order to foster pan-European interoperable EU Cloud services.
  • Driving the take-up of more secure, interoperable and energy-efficient data centres and Cloud services in particular for small and medium enterprises, start-ups and the public sector.

A European Alliance on Industrial Data and Cloud will be launched by the end of the year. Within this Alliance, interested Member States, industries and relevant experts will work together to design the detailed business, investment and implementation plan to deploy the next generation Cloud capacities for the public and private sector.

All 27 Member States have pooled forces to commit to the next generation Cloud for Europe and will drive its uptake in the private and public sectors across the EU.

The Joint Declaration on Cloud document is available for download.