EU cloud system Gaia X

The EU is currently developing the Gaia X cloud system for computer technology. It is meant to help reducing the gap in digitalization and catch up with global technology giants.

Greater European data sovereignty is becoming a reality by means of Gaia X. Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier calls this a potential "worldwide gold standard" for cloud services, and draws a comparison with the moon landing. Even if the bar is being lowered, the Gaia-X project will retain a high status as a key European project for a sovereign and trustworthy data infrastructure that is to form the basis for a "European data ecosystem". The first services of the programme should be available in early 2021. Over 300 companies are involved in the development. 22 mainly German and French starting companies are managing the development, coordinated by a non-profit organisation under Belgian law. All standards are to meet high European requirements.

Through Gaia X, Europe is to become more independent of US cloud providers and integrate European companies more strongly into the market. However, a greater acceptance of cloud computing in the EU is indispensable for this. In comparison to the USA, the potential of local users is little used. Gaia X is intended to create an incentive for companies to entrust their own data to a cloud. This is not about setting up a new, globally competitive "hyperscaler", but about linking various providers into a federated data infrastructure system. Each cloud provider – as long as they use Gaia-X technology and comply with European standards – can become a node in the network and offer their specific services.

At the same time, the competitiveness of the entire European tech industry is to be ensured. Smaller amounts of data will be combined into an extensive data pool, which is characterized by open interfaces and uniform standards. This data availability should boost Europe's innovative strength. The EU embeds the project in the framework of its European data strategy and the associated internal market for data, which sets ambitious goals for both the utilization of data and the implementation of ethical and ecological standards.