19th Mar 2018

Cloud computing a "game-changer" for EU economy, Kroes says

  • Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes launched the EU's cloud computing strategy Thursday (Photo: European Commission)

Digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes unveiled the EU's long awaited cloud computing strategy on Thursday (27 September), describing it as a "game-changer" for the European economy.

The commission says that a €45 billion investment in cloud technology could generate just under €1 trillion in GDP in addition to 3.8 million jobs by 2020.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Cloud computing uses an online network of servers, storage applications and computer services which can be accessed on-demand via the Internet.

As a result, users do not need to invest in their own IT infrastructures or be constrained by the physical location of their computer resources.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the strategy, Kroes said that "the single market is our crown jewel, cutting costs and boosting business: a European cloud strategy gives our single market a new, digital home."

She said the commission will not develop its own "European super cloud" but will focus instead on developing a common EU rulebook for cloud services. It wants to establish an EU-wide certification and model contract scheme for cloud providers and a single set of technical standards.

The global cloud computing market is the fasted growing sector of the IT industry and will rise from $21.5 billion in 2010 to $73 billion in 2015 according to research by the International Data Corporation.

Software giant Microsoft says cloud computing will create 11.3 million jobs in the world economy by 2014.

Software industry representatives have welcomed the EU strategy.

Stephen Collins, vice-president of Microsoft, called it a "significant milestone for cloud computing in Europe."

Jonathan Zuck, the chief of the Association for Competitive Technology, a Washington-based lobby group with an office in Brussels, told EUobserver that small businesses stand to make the most gains from cloud services due to potential 80 percent reduction in IT costs.

Urging the commission to focus on harmonising its digital single market, he added that Brussels should "break down political barriers to cloud services."

One of the main potential savings for businesses is that computing is to become an operating cost rather than capital expenditure in terms of accountancy rules.

The commission suggests that organisations using cloud technology would save 20-50 percent in IT spending.

Over 60 percent firms in Europe already use cloud technology, but have tended to use it for non-business services due to a lack of knowledge and trust in the network.

The main business and consumer concerns with cloud services centre on the security and location of data, the applicable law and legal jurisdiction, as well as portability between services for firms that already use cloud in one or more areas.

One of the first legislative tests for EU cloud services will be the plans to re-write the bloc's data protection rules.

So far, the EU has made little cash investment in cloud computing. The €10.5 million Optimis project became the first EU-funded piece of cloud software when it was launched in June

Despite Kroes efforts, Europe's IT industry still harbours concerns that delays in breaking down barriers to a European cloud network could see them fall further behind the US.

Thomas Boue of the Business Software Alliance, a Brussels-based lobby group, said the EU should "align privacy and security rules so that data can flow across international borders."


Pressure mounts on EU cloud deal as deadline looms

The European Commission is under pressure to keep to its self-imposed September deadline to publish an EU cloud computing strategy, as new evidence revealed widespread public confusion about it.


EU clouds two years behind US, says IT report

EU cloud computing will lag two years behind the US due to European privacy rules and the eurozone crisis, according to a leading technology research firm.

'Decisive step' in Brexit ahead of EU summit

The UK and the EU have reached a legal agreement on citizens' rights and the financial settlement, but with still little progress on the future of the Irish border.


Selmayr case symptomatic, warns EU novel author

The controversy over the new EU Commission top civil servant is revealing of what is wrong with EU institutions and how they are blocked by national governments, says award-winning Austrian novelist Robert Menasse.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceConmtroversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  2. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  3. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  5. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  7. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  8. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  9. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?
  10. European Jewish CongressThe 2018 European Medal of Tolerance Goes to Prince Albert II of Monaco
  11. FiscalNoteGlobal Policy Trends: What to Watch in 2018
  12. Human Rights and Democracy NetworkPromoting Human Rights and Democracy in the Next Eu Multiannual Financial Framework