European Cloud Initiative – building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2016) 178
Publication Date 19/04/2016
Content Type


Communication published by the European Commission in April 2016, setting out the European Cloud Initiative - a model for cloud-based services and data infrastructure.

Further information:

The world has witnessed a dramatic increase in the amount and variety of data being produced. This 'Big Data' phenomenon creates new possibilities to share knowledge, to carry out research and to develop and implement public policies. It has also become easier to exploit this data thanks to the Cloud. This can be understood as the combination of three independent elements:

  • the data infrastructures which store and manage data;
  • the high-bandwith networks which transport data;
  • the ever more powerful computers which can be used to process the data.

The European Cloud Initiative was designed to support science, industry and public authorities across the European Union in accessing data infrastructures and cloud-based services as they become the decisive factors for success in the digital economy. It builds on the Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy, which aims, inter alia, to maximise the growth potential of the European digital economy. The European Cloud Initiative builds on the achievements of the European Cloud Strategy and the High Performance Computing (HPC) Strategy. It takes forward the policy developed in the Communication on Big Data and supports the European Open Science policy agenda.

This Communication marks the beginning of the process of setting up the European Cloud Initiative. It was adopted alongside a number of other measures aiming to reinforce the industrial and innovation pillar of the Digitial Single Market (DSM) strategy.

The European Parliament discussed and adopted in February 2017 an Own-Initiative Report as a follow-up to the launch of the European Cloud Initiative.

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Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: At a Glance, February 2017: The European Cloud initiative

EUR-Lex: SWD(2016)106: Implementation of the action plan for the European high-performance computing strategy
EUR-Lex: SWD(2016)107: Commission Staff Working Document on quantum technologies
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Own-Initiative Report on the European Cloud Initiative
EP: Legislative Train: European cloud initiative
European Commission: Digital Single Market: The European Cloud Initiative
European Commission: Press Release, 19/04/2016: European Cloud Initiative to give Europe a global lead in the data-driven economy
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 19/04/2016: Digital Single Market - Digitising European Industry [Questions & Answers]

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