On 19th November the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, launched the first meeting of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board (ECP SB). The Chairman of the ECP SB is the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and Telefónica is also participating in this initiative, represented by Matthew Key.
On 27 September 2012 the European Commission adopted the so called European Cloud Strategy (Communication "Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe" [COM (2012) 529], which establishes the European Cloud Partnership (ECP).
The objective of ECP is to stimulate public sector adoption of cloud computing services in Europe. Under the guidance of a Steering Board, the ECP will bring together public authorities and industry consortia to implement pre-commercial procurement activities to identify common cloud computing requirements, to develop specifications for IT procurement, and to procure reference implementations. The ECP does not aim at creating a “European” physical cloud computing infrastructure.
The ECP SB, composed by Public Administrations and industry high level representatives, will provide advice to the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda and to the ECP itself. More concretely, the ECP SB will provide advice on any aspect of market evolution and uptake, regulation and policy, best practices, procurement, innovation, and technology and research related to cloud computing in Europe and globally, including:
– strategic advice and orientations for possible new ECP initiatives (recommendations for future implementation, uptake and research actions),
– recommendations on priorities for cloud computing in Europe as an engine for sustainable economic growth, global competitiveness, innovation and cost-efficient public services,
– orientations for secure and interoperable cloud computing.
Cloud uptake is essential for Europe both economically in terms of driving digital growth for Europe as well as allowing Europe to remain competitive on the global stage and socially as regards benefiting end-users with innovative services. We all should welcome the European Commission’s commitment in making Europe cloud-friendly and cloud-active.