Germany, France Hope Cloud Data Project Will Boost Sovereignty

Germany and France on Thursday launched a mission to arrange a European cloud computing platform that they hope will improve European financial sovereignty within the wake of the coronavirus disaster and break the continent’s dependence on US and Chinese firms.

The platform, entitled GAIA-X, is supposed to be up and operating — not less than in prototype type — in the beginning of subsequent yr and be open to customers from outdoors Europe that commit to stick to European requirements. German Economy Peter Altmaier mentioned that the purpose is “nothing less than a European moonshot in digital policy.”

Germany and France will arrange a non-profit affiliation to coordinate and manage the info infrastructure, Altmaier mentioned. Conceived final yr and initially introduced in October, GAIA-X follows on the heels of an current push by the European Union’s two greatest economies to arrange a automobile battery consortium geared toward catching up with Asian rivals.

The cloud computing mission “couldn’t have been extra well timed” as Europe tries to dig itself out of a deep recession caused by the coronavirus crisis, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

“With the COVID crisis, companies massively shifted to teleworking. This makes the need for (a) secure and European cloud solution all the more urgent,” Le Maire told a news conference by video link from Paris.

“The crisis also showed that the giant tech companies are the winners … the European digital space has to be protected,” he added, pledging that the new platform “will ensure the application of policy rules based on EU values and standards.”

“We are not China, we are not the United States — we are European countries with our own values and our own economic interests that we want to defend,” Le Maire mentioned. He careworn the significance of “interoperability,” permitting firms to modify simply to the brand new system with out dropping any knowledge.

The two ministers mentioned the mission has introduced collectively 22 firms in France and Germany, together with Dassault Systemes, Orange, Siemens, SAP, Robert Bosch, and Deutsche Telekom. They did not give monetary particulars. Le Maire known as on “all other European companies and countries” to hitch the initiative.

Beyond that, “the idea is that we invite companies across the world providing their cloud services according to European standards and rules,” Altmaier mentioned. “Everyone who wants to have the label of GAIA-X will have to respect and to satisfy several sets of rules,” together with on interoperability and knowledge migration.

He mentioned that the mission’s success “will be crucial for Germany, for France and for Europe as far as our economic strength, our competitivity and our sovereignty are concerned.”

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