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Home arrow newsitems arrow Industry/Research Committee Chair f.EUParliament President Buzek to EF: Digital EU Cloud on Science+

Industry/Research Committee Chair f.EUParliament President Buzek to EF: Digital EU Cloud on Science+

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
 f._president_of_eu_parliament_j._buzek_to_eufofora_400_03
 
  *Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- In Exclusive Statements to "Eurofora", the Chairman of EU Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), and former President of EU Parliament, professor Jerzy Buzek, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP from Poland, explained the main reasons for which the planned creation of a European "Cloud" of Computer Data would Benefit EU Citizens, the Economy and Science, both at Home and Abroad, being a Modern Technology Opportunity to seize, by overcoming any eventual challenges.
 

Particularly nowadays, when Public Debates on "Europe's Future" are growing, Both inside EU Pariiament, (with 3 Political Reports during this Plenary Session) and outside, also in view of the forthcoming, Exceptional EU Heads of State/Government Summit at Rome, for the 60th Anniversary of the EU Treaties, due to Highlight some New Horizons, at Rome (Italy), on March 2017.


However, Dreaming on 2016-2017 about the imminent Creation of European Digital "Clouds" didn't start on the Sky, but down on Earth, at Strasbourg's Political, EU Experts and Civil Society Meetings' level, already from 2012-2013, as "Eurofora"s personal Experience attests :


- An Early Proposal around a Digital EU "Cloud", initialy focusing on Legal Rules' framework only, has been made since 2013, during an Annual Cyber-Security Legal, Economic, ICT Experts and Politicians' Conference of Franco-German-Swiss "Superior Rhine" Euro-Region in Strasbourg, to which "Eurofora" had been Invited and actively participated : In particular, this was a main idea of a Key Expert, Senior Official of the French National Security Agency for Information Systems (ANSSI), Philippe Wolf, advanced in an Interview with "Eurofora" : See, f.ex., also : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cyberattaksandeurules.html ).


But it was, Initialy, already at the Beginning of 2012, that an Experienced MEP, former Chairman of EU Parliament's "STOA" Committee on Scientific/Technological Options' Assessment, Paul Rübig from Austria, (ChristianDemocrat/EPP), in cooperation with his successor, Portuguese former Minister Antionio de Campors (SocialDemocrat), Replied to "Eurofora" Questions in a Press Conference in Strasbourg, about foreseable Future Projects "in the Coming Years", by pointing, at the 1st Place, to "Cloud Computing", (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euscienceoptionsandcitizens.html ).


Moreover, an interesting PanEuropean/International Conference on "Clouds" data in relation with the Global Fight against Cyber-Crime was organized by CoE's "Budapest" Convention Experts' body on 2015 in Strasbourg, where CoE's Anti-CyberCrime Director, Alexander Seger, spoke to "Eurofora" about the Need for relevant Capacity-Building and potential Victims' Protection, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coecybercrimedirectoroncapacitybuilding.html ).


=> That Rübig's and Wolf's moves proved to be Premonitory :

 

eu_cloud_computing_network_400


- On February 2017, such Pioneer but sketchy Ideas, have become now a seriously documented and Fully-Fledged Official EU Parliament's Report, drafted by ITRE's experienced Chairman, President Buzek, Debated (on Wednesday) and Voted (on Thursday) by MEPs this Week in Strasbourg, on a 2016 initiative launched by EU Commission, which was presented here by EU Commissioner in charge of Scientific Research and Technology Development, Carlos Moedas, (for Other EU Commissioner Moedas' Statements to "Eurofora", see, f.ex., also : ....).


- "We can say that, in the case of Cloud Computing, the most Crucial Issues are about Using that, very Widely, in Science" matters mainly, President Buzek observed from the outset, in Reply to an "Eurofora" Question, Earlier this week.


- "Because we (Europeans) haven't done that yet, until now", and "this is Incredible !", he regretted, (given also the rapidly growing Globbal Competition in this key ICT crossroads area).


- But "Cloud Computing for Research, for Sciences, is of Crucial Importance" nowadays, ITRE's Experienced Chairman (who is also a former University Professor in Physics), underlined.


- "And, ... we, in Europe, could be in the Best role in the World ! ", President Buzek, (who has a large Experience also as former EU Parliament's Rapporteur on the Science and Technology Funding, Mutli-Annual Program "Horizon"), optimisticaly Highlighted.  


- "Because, as you know, we (EU) have more than 550 Millions Citizens, and a Lot of Universities, while Science and Research is advancing forward", he noted.


- Success depends also on "whether we (EU) Start Immediately with Cloud Computing, to go through all the Technicaclities, as soon as possible", EU Parliament's competent Rapporteur urged.


+ When "Eurofora" observed that f.ex. our Natural Science's Advisor, Dr. Constantin Marcopoulos, who is currently working as Professor mainly on Physics and Chemistry etc. in China, during a recent visit to France and Germany (2017) said that he Needs an Efficient and Safe "Cloud" for his Original Documents, and Asked Buzek if it is Possible for the EU to Develop such Computer Clouds which would be physically accessible to Users all over the World, ITRE's Chairman replied very Positively : -  "I think so. Yes, Absolutely ! This is (part of) our (EU's) Task".


-------------------------------


- Speaking, Later-on, in an EU Parliament's Plenary Debate with MEPs on Buzek's Report, EU Commissioner for Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas (Comp. Supra), stressed from the outset EU's "Ambition  of ensuring that science, businesses, public services could reap all the benefits of the so-called ‘Big Data revolution’. Today we produce 2.5 billion – billion – bytes of Data per day. That is, as someone once put it, 4 Eiffel Towers of Blu-ray Discs per Day, so the fundamental Question for us tonight is really How we should deal with it, and the Cloud Initiative is part of the answer".


 - EU Commission "proposed the creation of an inclusive, European, open science cloud, deploying an efficient European data Infrastructure to address such enormous data flows and Opening up the User base to the Public sector and Industry", he resumed in this regard.


- For this purpose, on 2017, "We (EU Commission) are now Discussing sustainable funding and implementation instruments with the Member States, research infrastructures, scientific communities and other key players". "First, on the European Open Science Cloud the Commission is preparing a roadmap for Governance and Financing to be presented to, and discussed with, the Member States in the course of 2017. ...We want our 1.7 Million European Scientists to have the best services for text and data Mining, the best data Management plans, and the best Training programmes. We made Open data the default in "Horizon 2020" (EU Research Funding Program), starting in 2017. In other words, we kind of transformed an exception into a rule", Moedas said.


+ And "We (EU) will Fund a Pilot Project ...to ensure that the Governance in the European Open Science Cloud is truly representative of European Science" and "creates Synergies". "Over the Year, ...we will define a Governance board before the end of 2017 and we will work on making all our research Data fair; Findable, so scientists can identify each piece of data in a unique way; Accessible, so it can always be obtained freely; Interoperable, because science is today at the intersection of disciplines; and ReUsable, because you cannot lose important data after you have used it, you have to be able to use it in different disciplines at different times", he promised.


 - Concerning "the European Data InfraStructure", "a European high performance Computing Strategy (is) under development with Member States and European Industry", which "includes a Pooling of the necessary Investments at all levels to create a World-class ...computing and big data ecosystem by 2023", due "to be built on 2 Exascale Computers. That means a billion operations per second, which is basically 1.000 times Faster than today’s supercomputers", the competent EU Commissioner Highlighted.


 - This "requires seamless user-friendly Access, with appropriate levels of data Protection, Security and services, to ensure Trust and Confidence", he admitted. "So,...on 10 January last, the Commission adopted the Communication on Building a European Data Economy", "dealing with additional big data issues : It advocates reducing barriers to the Free Flow of data. It looks into questions of Ownership, Access to data, Liability", and  "puts emphasis on ...Open and Competitive economy, without unjustified lock-in effects.


+ Citting "a recent Visit" f.ex. to a "Bio-Informatics Institute" at Nearby "Heidelberg", Moedas observed that it had "made" a "Choice" for "Scientific Information Freely Available to the Global Science Community", and pointed out that "This is the Way we (EU Commission) are Going".


- Meanwhile, however, he also said to be "deeply committed to Engaging with All relevant Stakeholders", as well as to "Consider several Proposals, on the Supply and Demand side, and on the Extension to SMEs", as he promised.


-------------------------------------


However, during the EU Parliament's debate, despite an overall Positive, in principle, Welcome by most MEPs, among some Criticism was also f.ex., on behalf of the Conservative/Reformist Group, (mainly UK-driven), MEP Krasnodebski's call to Better Focus on the "Industry sector" and "the realities of the Market", instead of a "Centralized" EU "Commission"'s "Intereference", as he said, expressing also a Reserve about EU's estimation of an "Additional Public-private Investment of 4,7 Billions €" "within 5 Years".


He didn't, however, go as far as the Euro-Sceptic British MEP Diane James, who lated spoke on behalf of "Independent" MEPs, Criticizing a "forecast" to "Cost 6,7 Billions €, including a 4,7 financial Shortfall", which would "mean that no one knows Where almost 5 Billions € ... will be Found", so that, Other, "Existing Global, and fully International Alternatives", might be, perhaps, preferable, according to her opinion.

On the Contrary, "EuroLeft" Group's representative, MEP Marisa Matias from Portugal, found "Necessary ... that the (EU) system is maintained in the Public domain, guaranteeing the use and access to the entire community, from researchers to SMEs, ...secondly, to ensure the portability and interoperability of the data; in the third place, to Protect the personal data", as she stressed.

- On behalf of the "Green" Group, MEP Judith Sargentini, denouced the Fact that, until now, "we do store very often data Outside the EU, and that is Not Good, because outside our jurisdiction, we can Not Protect Governments, Businesses, Scientists and Citizens", while f.ex. "US Companies and NSA watch", as well as some "Russian companies", etc., while, nowadays, "Personal Infrmation is extremely Important" to safeguard. Therefore, EU's "Cloud Initiative" could be also "Good for our Wallets and for our Privacy", particularly if EU Ciommission "Stop Listening to (some) American Companies that would like to have a Monopoly on the Cloud", such as, f.ex. "Hewlett-Packard and Amazon", etc.. "By EnForcing Open Standards" for All, "we (EU) could Reduce that Risk", awhile "also, our (EU's) Data Protection Laws, by keeping the (EU) Cloud very Safe, can Offer even to Foreign Companies, (and/or) Out of the EU, some very Good Opportunities", she observed.


- French MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, (who had been, initialy, the Rapporteur for that Issue"), speaking on behalf of the "Nations and Freedoms" Group (Rightists), stressed from the outset that his main "Concern was to Keep, ... Both the Software and the Harware, for really European Businesses, i.e. Headquartered in the EU, Producing in Europe, and having European Capital". But also "to Monitor Security" and "the concept of Openess, ... so that it doesn't serve only some Foreign Powers", as he Warned, in addition to "Protecting the Data, according the Principle hat they Belong to those who Produce them", as he said.


But, together with "a Team of 25 Experts and 5 Coordinators (MEPs), specialized in this field, we Found ... that even some among the Leading European Companies had Not been Consulted", as he claimed, while, moreover, EU Commission had chosen to "Put Huge (Financial) Means on Super-Computers, but Abandoned the Quantic (Tech) or Other Sectors, as, f.ex. the Micro-Processors, which represent 2O Times more than the Market of SuperComputers", so that this all risked to Benefit "mainly the Foreign Lobbies", in his view.


-----------------


 - Experienced, mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Paul Rübig from Austria, one of EU's Pioneers in the domain of "Cloud Computing" (Comp. Supra), Welcomed EU Commission's initiative, as a means to "Strengthen Europe", and Advised to Better use the potential "Bonuses" of the "Protection of Personal Data, in a Trusted European Cloud".


- F.ex., a "Cloud Select Industry Group has sought a Code of Conduct, ...set for European Standards", "so that the European Cloud Industry gets in this area a Strong Role", also at "a Global" level, Rübig stressed, while also Saluting the presence of "ENISA and ETSI's Key players" at EU Parliament, Hoping that EU's Initiative "would Really Bring a sustainable Success for European SMEs".


=> For that purpose, "We (EU) also Need a Cloud Computing Compliance-Monitoring Catalog System, to set Standards, (and) enable us to Avoid Distrust and Crisis of Confidence, in this area". In Fact, "we (EU) Need a European Cloud "Quality Seal", for the "Data Storage to European Cloud Providers, in European Data Centers", with "the full Source Code Available in Europe", as well as, "we Need the European Law, and the European (EU and/or CoE) Rules on Data Protection, to apply to the (EU) Cloud a Quality Seal", Rübig urged.


 - When this will be achieved, "then, EU Taxes ... and IT Services will be Able to Contribute (to Fund and Support) our InfraStructure", the experienced Top MEP concluded.


------------------------------------


+ Spanish MEP Jose Blanco Lopez, added a Wish "to make it possible for All Regions of the EU to participate, withOut New Gaps".


Dutch MEP Lumbert van Nistelrooij, observed that in several EU Countries, already, "New Academies Combining Big Data, Science, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship", were "Starting", Hoping that EU would "Not Repeat what had happened during the Last Years, when we Lost Time (f.ex.) vis a vis the USA", as he found.


Greek Conservative MEP Notis Marias, observed that "Revenues from EU's Cloud Computing could reach 80 Billions € until 2020". But he also reminded that "Protection of Personal and other Sensitive Data should have a Priority on the Free Flow of data", while also, "any European Policy" on this field, "should respond to the Needs and Benefit SMEs, and particularly Consumers, both at an EU, National, Regional and Local level", as he said.


-------------------


- In Reply, EU Commissioner Moedas, from Portugal, anew Stressed that "Open Data is the Future, and Locking up is the Past", urging  "Not o Miss this Boat of  Open Access, Open Data, Open Science, and Openness to the World", as "this (EU) Cloud is about being Able to Mine text and Data, Better than others, and about having Access to Information that can create Ideas" and "Jobs", as he said.


+ However, at the same time, he also Promised to "Speed Implementation, Invest in a World-leading Capacity, set up a Governance structure ...truly Representative of European Science", and "Protect People's Data and Privacy", as well as "Ensure that European Industry and Public Sector Benefit from that".


------------------------------------------------


>>> President Buzek's Draft Report supports such an "European Open Science Cloud" (EOSC), particularly after observing the fact that "Countries like USA, China Japan and Russia are seriously Investing in such Systems", while also stressing that it "should be Developed with due regard for the Fundamental Rights enshrined in (EU's) Charter ..., in particular the Rights of Data Protection, Privacy, Liberty and Security", as well as to Benefit also SMEs, be associated with a Wider Access to Broadband Internet for the People, throughout Regions, and by engaging with Civil Society Together with all other relevant European stakeholders.


-----------------------------------------------


An Alternative Draft Resolution, presented in the form of an Amendment by the "Nations and Freedoms" Group of Rightist MEPs, warned, inter alia, also about "US Intelligence Services" allegedly "advocating Maximum Openness", observed that f.ex. "China requires every Cloud Operator to have a Minimum of 50% of Chinese Capital", Regretted that EU "Commission (allegedly) Failed to Consult the only European Producer of MicroProcessors, ... or Europe's largest Cloud Computing Company, although it did Consult their Non-European Rivals", Urges to use "Free (EU) Linux Software" in order to "Save... Tens of Billions €" and "allow the European Digital Sector to play a Leading role", Calls to consider a Company as "European" "only if its Office and ..Decision making centers, Manufacturing Sites, are on European Territory, and if it's Controlled by European Capital, and subject to consolidated Tax" here, (instead of merely having "a European Subsidiary", as EU Commission allegedly would estimate), Denounces "Storing or Processing Data Outside of Europe", as "tantamount to Killing off EU's Digital Economy", asks for "Governance" to be "under European Jurisdiction", asks to "encourage and Fund the writing of Secure Free Software" in Europe, particularly "with Linux", and to "massively Invest in (EU's) SemiConductor Industry", as well as "to adopt High Encryption standards", (a point also made in Buzek's Draft), and Concluded by calling to ensure that "anyone Using .. Data should Remunerate the Data Provider", with "Dissuassive Fines on Companies illegaly using Data", so that "Europe" could become "a Safe Haven for Data Storage in the World", as it claimed.


------------------------------------------------


As a whole, that Text was, however, Rejected by a strong EU Parliament's Majority of at least 535 MEPs, against only about 40 and 5 Abstentions.


While, on the Contrary, President Buzek's Draft Resolution, (which Included some Responses to several among those Concerns : Comp. partly Supra), was clearly Adopted by EU Parliament, with a Crystal-clear absolute Majority of 444 Votes in Favour, and Only almost 144 Dissident Votes, (Against or Abstentions), i.e. supported by More than 3/4 of MEPs.


-----------------------------------

(../..)


***

(NDLR : Partly Updated on Thursday, February 16, 2017).

+

("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).

***


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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

imag0335_400


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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