Developing on the European Cloud strategy, ‘Unleashing the potential of Cloud Computing in Europe’ released in 2012, the European Commission has released a memo to foster greater support for cloud computing services in Europe, with the ambition for Europe to become the world’s leading trusted cloud region and a harmonious single market for cloud computing known as ‘Fortress Europe’.

The Commission demands faster widespread adoption of cloud computing to improve productivity levels in the European economy, even in spite of recent doubts about cloud security in the context of revelations about PRISM and other surveillance activities. To relay concerns for security, the Commission established the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board. Furthermore, to restore trust in cloud services, the Commission call for greater transparency, specifically by government bodies.

The Commission highlights that the recent proposal for a new EU data protection regulation scheduled to be adopted in 2015 will provide a uniform legal base for the protection of personal data across Europe.  Furthermore, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute has been working with ENISA and the Select Industry Group to develop EU-wide voluntary certifications schemes to help cloud computing suppliers demonstrate to customers that they adhere to high standards of network and information security.

The Commission concludes Europe can pride itself on high standards for data protection and data security, and be reassured that this provides the strong foundation for secure cloud computing. The memo therefore implores Europe to ‘embrace the potential economies of scale of a truly functioning EU-wide single market for cloud computing where the barriers to free data-flow around Europe would be reduced providing a massive boost to competitiveness.’