Why is it important to develop European cloud-based services? How is this a clear example of the need of to create a real European digital market?
We believe that the Internet must be transparent and safe, that it needs to remain open and competitive and, last but not least, that the Internet should be fair and inclusive.
Yves Mondesir works at VO2 GROUP, a French company specialising in the integration of cloud systems in the digital infrastructure of major organisations. Outsourcing through cloud computing helps businesses and users save money and gain flexibility. The promising economic and commercial prospects of cloud computing constitute an opportunity to re-launch the European economy.
Legal and technical standardisation for a Digital Single Market
With only a few clients abroad currently, Yves’s company aims to be a player on the European stage, starting in Belgium. And the challenges he faces to expand Europe-wide are very specific. “Entering other European markets has proven to be difficult: there is a complete lack of communication. Let’s say that we want to export our services to Italy, for example; there is no information available on calls for tender, there are a lot forms to fill in and the accounting norms are different… We definitely need more standardisation in this area.”
Entering other European markets has proven to be difficult: there is a complete lack of communication. We definitely need more standardisation in this area Yves Mondesir
To seize these opportunities, the EPP Group calls for a set of legal and technical standards to enable providers to offer secure services to their customers. We need a European Cloud Computing Strategy for the years to come.
Developing strong European data protection as a unique selling point
The EU has been a leader in data protection since the 1990s and should turn that into a competitive advantage for a future market of cloud services.
As Yves Mondesir says: “It might sound surprising but scandals such as PRISM did not really affect our business. First, people tend to trust European cloud companies, with servers on European soil and a high level of security. Then, the scandal did not prevent people from sending mails, managing their bank accounts online or checking social media on their smartphones every day, all the time!”
People tend to trust European cloud companies, with servers on European soil and a high level of security
But national considerations are still blocking the much-needed modernisation of rules and the creation of a true single market in that area. And, as we see, this has concrete implications for companies.
Protecting European citizens’ data against cyber attacks
Moreover, developing a European cloud means protecting the data of EU citizens. “Today, with the development of cloud computing, we are more committed than ever to the security and quality of our services. But we need the help of the EU to access a simpler, wider market.”
Today, with the development of cloud computing, we are more committed than ever to the security and quality of our services. But we need the help of the EU to access a simpler, wider market
A European cloud must be technically reliable and resilient. Secondly, we believe that the cloud must be secure against viruses and other cyber-attacks, for instance. Thirdly, the cloud must be designed in a way that European users' data are protected according to interoperable standards.
When it comes to the online world, cyber security has emerged as one of the main preoccupations EU citizens and businesses have. We need to fight against economic espionage and this is why cyber security must be at the top of the agenda. We want to reinforce the efficiency of our system and give more powers to the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), as cyber threats do not know borders.
Our approach to an open, fair and transparent Internet for all
A new and detailed EU Internet strategy for the time after the upcoming European elections in 2014 is needed. Otherwise the EU will miss essential steps towards economic growth in the digital era. Our approach will be based on guaranteeing freedom of expression, a free flow of information, access for everyone and, last but not least, taking care of individual rights and businesses.
To create a real Digital Single Market and support European cloud computing businesses like Yves’ company, the EPP Group especially wants:
- The EU to set its own standards for secure Cloud Computing
- EU data protection rules that enable business and protect the individual
- To tackle the challenges to EU data protection standards by third countries
- To fight economic espionage.
Read more on our Group’s proposals for the upcoming legislature to enable European citizens to fully benefit from the digital era.