France and Germany draw up plans to grow Europe’s cloud computing sector

France and Germany are drawing up plans to strengthen Europe’s data infrastructure amid concerns that the continent is overly dependent on US cloud suppliers.

The two countries announced on Tuesday (29 October) that they would present proposals in the new year for growing Europe’s cloud computing sector, following a workshop on the subject at the end of next month.

Europe’s cloud computing sector

German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier (L) and French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire hold a joint press conference after a meeting on May 2, 2019 in Paris. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe’s slow progress on cloud computing has become a key concern among governments in recent months. Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming president of the European Commission, has cited the EU’s technological sovereignty as a personal priority, while Germany has backed the development of a new European cloud service, called Gaia-X.

The French-German initiative was announced in a joint statement from the countries’ finance ministers. France’s Bruno Le Maire said: “We want to establish a safe and sovereign European data infrastructure, including data warehouses, data pooling and develop data interoperability.” Germany’s Peter Altmaier added that the country must “regain” its “digital sovereignty”.

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