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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
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  *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".


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>>> 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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New Plan revealed during EU Parliament's session and while Strasbourg's Unified University was inaugurated, (biggest in France, aiming at EU links).

 
EuroDistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau's dynamics were boosted by a key Franco-German meeting during EU Parliament's session here, which anounced a swift towards ambitious European aims : To become a showcase for concrete achievements of European Cooperation that benefit Citizens' everyday life and Economy, while also developing a Culture able to serve and stimulate European Organizations' political activities.

With measures to be taken in 2009, Strasbourg-Ortenau's EuroDistrict should become EU's new "Metropolitan area" in the Decade 2010-2020, at the heart of Europe in the performant "OberRhein" region, a Franco-German Expert's Report anounced.

- "Defend European Institutions, and in particular EU Parliament" is a key point of the 2009 Report's threefold focus on "Infrastructures"' economy and quality, "Citizens' everyday life", and "Cultural and Political influence".

According to a Draft Statute, France and Germany agree that "an undeniable element of EuroDistrict's image" should be "Strasbourg's status, as Capital of a Democratic and Parliamentarian Europe".

    After parallel and joint meetings at EU Parliament, French and German Ministers for EU affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE and Gunter GLOSER, started working with representatives of Local and Regional Authorities from both sides at Strasbourg's Historic Town Hall, Place Broglie, for the 2009 Monitoring of EuroDistrict "Strasbourg-Ortenau, during which was published an important Experts' Strategic Study with proposals on how to develop it in the Decade 2010-2020.
eurodistrict_speeches_400

    Introducing the 1st Experts' Report on "EuroDistrict" at a moment when it needs "New Ideas" as food for thought, Strasbourg's Mayor, Senator Roland RIES said that "a special Status" should allow "Citizens to share Infrastructures and a common European project", in agreement with his collegue, Mayor of Kehl and German spokesperson for EuroDisctrict, Dr. Gunther PETRY, who focused mainly on the useful role of "Local" authorities in "concrete" achievements.

    - Together with "facilitating Citizens' everyday life", "our countries have also a Political aim", which needs to find "New Forms of Cooperation", said German Minister for EU affairs, Gunter GLOSER. According to a "Subsidiarity principle", which starts from a smaller level, leaving to a bigger entity what it cannot achieve alone, EuroDistict should be the "1st level" in a "Concentric" schema, he added.

    - In fact, "it's a question of Europe's credibility : EuroDistrict must prove that Franco-German cooperation gives results", with "concrete achievements", said the new French Minister for EU affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE. Now, we "must advance further" : There is both "Local and National support" to make of Strasbourg-Ortenau's EuroDistrict "an example on what Europe must do in the Future if it wants to be credible in Citizens' eyes".

    - "Our Mission was to find the region's Potential of the region, "and search adequate Measures to use and develop it"; said German Expert Dr. Erwin VETTER. A main proposal is to "create a New Center for EU Competences", where everything should be concentrated : EuroDistrict, EuroCorps, EuroBest, etc : All in one area, while also linking Airports and other means of Transport, Culture, Education, Science and Research, etc. in order "to create 1 Metropolitan area" before 2020, he anounced.

    - With imagination and organisation "we tried to marry the French and German spirit", added French Expert Bernard COTTIN. He underlined "two points" :  - "In their Everyday Life, Citizens should feel that they are living in One Common Area", (fex. on Phones, Hospitals, Retirement, etc). But EuroDistrict should have also a "Cultural Dimension" : "Strasbourg, had been a little-bit left behind by both countries in the past, but must now find a New dynamic Momentum, at the Heart of Europe, strengthening its Cultural atous and becoming Multi-Cultural, in order to attain a European Dimension and develop the European Institutions", he concluded.

    Symbolically, both Mayors of Strasbourg and Kehl, Ries and Petry, gave to Ministers Gloser and Le Maire as a Gift two Books on Rhine River : Stylicised by both Logos chosen for "EuroDistrict" (as body of a flower), and for Strasbourg's new, Unified University, "UniStra", (as a long "S"), Rhine river came at the focus this week in Strasbourg, headquarters also of the oldest European Organisation : The Committee on Rhine's Navigation.. Meanwhile, Le Maire switched over from German (that he speaks fluently) to French, echoed, the other way round, by Gloser, who also understands French...
---------------------------------
The 2009 REPORT :
---------------------------------
eurodistrict_experts_report_handout_400
 
Experts' proposals for EuroDistrict's Legal status is to start in 2009 with a "European Group for Transborder Cooperation", and "replace it, when possible, .. with an Original Form" of a new legal entity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Citizens' oriented measures include to facilitate "acces to Health", "Mobile Phones", "Transborder Workers"', "School exchanges", etc., and other measures interesting Citizens, as f.ex. the creation of "Common Hospitals or Rescue centers", etc. Already, an agreement on "Urgent Medical Care" will be signed on February 10.

As "Economic Capital" of one of EU's most performant areas, known as "Ober-Rhein Metropolitan Region" ("superior Rhine" area), Strasbourg-Ortenau's EuroDistrict "should also develop its role of European Cultural and Political Capital, Symbol of Franco-German entente and of a Democratic Europe", Experts' Report concludes.

This goes well beyond developping Bi-linguism, transbrorder Training and "systematic" rapprochment of both Cultures (in Cinema, Theater, Music, etc).

It adds a progressive transfert in EuroDistrict of "elements of the Franco-German Brigade", close to "EuroCorps" Headquarters, and culminates with the promotion of European institutions (see above).

The Report also proposes to launch an "initiative" for "EU Parliament's unique Headquarters", developing Strasbourg's attractiveness vis-a-vis MEPs and staff.

It also includes the development of "a Research and Higher Education pole", among French, German and Swiss partners, "linked with Strabourg's new; Unified University" and "Ortenau's HochSchulen"

It's not a coincidence that this same week was inaugurated Strasbourg's Unified University : - "UniStra" becomes the Biggest in France, (with more than 42.000 students, 5.200 staff, a brand new "European Doctoral College", some 100 Research centers, and a Capital of more than 400 million €  from the State), aiming to create closer links with nearby German and Swiss Universities, fex. Karlsruhe, Fribourg, Stutgard, Bale, etc, as French Minister for Scientific Research and Higher Education, Valerie PECRESSE advised.

(See other, related News, already sent to interested "EuroFora"s subscribers and donors, which will be also posted at the Website asap).

Last but not least :  Non-believers should meditate on the fact that all this was symbolically made in the same Strasbourg Historic Town Hall's room where even the establishement of Council of Europe was decided, 60 years back in 1949...

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