The European Commission recently published a communication entitled ‘unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe’. With this communication the Commission tries to promote a faster adoption of cloud computing in Europe. This is because the diffusion of cloud computing is expected to have a substantial impact on the growth of the economy and the job market in the EU.

In its communication, the European Commission identifies three key areas, where intervention is required. A first key action, is to cut through the jungle of standards, so that cloud users can easily switch from one cloud-provider to another one. Interoperability, data portability and reversibility, are the main aims of this action.

A second key action, is the development of fair model contract terms and conditions. Such terms should cover issues such as data preservation after the termination of the contract, data disclosure and integrity, data location and transfer, direct and indirect liability, ownership of the data, change of service by cloud providers and subcontracting. Moreover, the Commission will review the standard contractual clauses applicable to the transfer of personal data outside of the EEA and adapt them to cloud services. The Commission will also call upon national data protection authorities to approve Binding Corporate Rules for cloud providers. These actions in combination with the proposed Regulation on a common European Sales Law and the proposed Regulation on Data Protection, will increase the trust of prospective consumers and thus accelerate the uptake of cloud computing.

A third key action is the creation of the European Cloud Partnership (ECP) to bring together industry expertise and public sector users to work on common procurement requirements for cloud computing. The aim of this action is to adapt the commercial offer to the European needs. This should eventually also benefit the private sector. (CLI)

The full communication can be found on