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Europe's IT Commissioner Announces European Cloud Partnership Initiative

Kroes: The cloud has the capacity to make lives easier for many of us, including the smallest of businesses

"The cloud has the capacity to make lives easier for many of us, including the smallest of businesses. But to achieve that requires us to take many different policy areas and really test them to make sure they are as cloud-compatible as they can be." Writing in her official capacity as Europe's Commissioner for the Internet - and therefore as Czarina of the 'Digital Agenda' of the European Union - Commissioner Neelie Kroes (pictured) has just announced a brand new initiative on cloud computing – the European Cloud Partnership.

As Vice-President of the European Commission, Kroes's cloud klout is enormous. She has championed Europe's Digital Agenda with great passion since she took office and has a popular Twitter account (@NeelieKroesEU) with nearly 35,000 followers.

Writing in her office blog, Commissioner Kroes reports how she attended the World Economic Forum in Davos last week in order to announce what she describes as "an exciting new initiative on cloud computing – the European Cloud Partnership."

The initiative, notes Kraus, is an important step forward to making the EU "not just cloud friendly, but cloud-active." An important distinction!

In her blog, Commissioner Kraus continues:

In particular the European Cloud Partnership focuses on the role of the public sector. The cloud can have many uses for this sector – from healthcare to the home, to tools for teachers, to a platform for the wealth of open public data. So this partnership will help the cloud work for the public sector—and help the public sector work for the cloud. Because by using the leverage of this 20% of the market, we can provide reassurance on issues like trust, interoperability, and legal liability—and thereby use it as a showcase for the other 80%.

I’m delighted with the positive response to this announcement from players like SAPDigital Europe,EuroCloudOpenForum EuropeTechAmerica EuropeGoogle, and others.

And being in Davos meant we were able to have a very interesting and informed discussion on the cloud more generally – issues like the balance between security and efficiency. And like how to give firms the right incentives to invest in security and trust – whether it’s through security breach notification requirements, insurance products, contractual liability rules or simply the need to preserve hard-won brand reputation. I was also reminded of the many benefits the cloud can offer in unexpected areas: for example, how distributing your data can help build resilience in disaster response (a lesson from post-Fukushima Japan).

"The cloud has the capacity to make lives easier for many of us, including the smallest of businesses," notes Kroes. "But to achieve that," she adds, "requires us to take many different policy areas and really test them to make sure they are as cloud-compatible as they can be. So these elements, and more besides, will all be appearing in our comprehensive cloud strategy – due out before the summer."

Truly we are all set for a(nother!) Summer of Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing Journal will as always be keeping you posted...and we are certain that, just like last year, the European presence at 10th Cloud Expo, will be huge.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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