support the proposed actions, focused on unification of standards, protection of personal data and cyber security, support of the Digital Single Market and creation of a a European Cloud Partnership;
complement the key proposals of the European Commission;
highlight the role of LRAs in these domains and develop their involvement in devising and implementing the measures at EU level
Impact of the CoR opinion on the EP report:
The EP report shares the CoR view about the importance of security and data protection requirements when using cloud computing services.
The EP acknowledges that cloud computing can become a transformative development in all sectors of the economy, with special relevance in areas such as health care, energy, public services and education.
The EP report also calls on the Commission to take the lead in promoting standards and specifications supporting privacy-friendly, reliable, highly interoperable, secure and energy-efficient cloud services.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the Commission communication on unleashing the potential of cloud computing and the Commission's call for innovative technological solutions; agrees that the potential of cloud computing goes beyond technological progress in IT: it has a positive impact on the labour market, can improve equal opportunities and can create jobs;
- points out that one of the biggest barriers to use of cloud computing in the public and private sectors is uncertainty about what rules and regulations must be considered if a cloud computing solution is chosen, for instance national and European personal data protection law, social and health provisions and accounting rules. There are also certain issues and risks in relation to data protection that must be addressed;
- supports the three key actions proposed by the Commission but considers that these need to be supplemented by concrete measures focusing on raising user awareness, as this stimulates demand on markets, thus helping to strengthen Europe's position in global competition, and share the risks and benefits arising from the spread of this new technology more evenly between consumers and providers. These concrete measures should also focus on promoting IT education and culture;
- considers that the Commission should take steps to make existing clouds or clouds under development at national, regional and possibly local level interconnectable and interoperable, exploiting the potential for standardisation. Strong emphasis should be laid on compatibility of the abovementioned administrative registers.