Is the Way to the European Cloud Paved Mainly with Good Intentions?

At the end of last month the EU released its plans for “Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe”. But although the document (s) – just like EU commissioner Kroes in this video – do a good job describing in non-technical terms what cloud is and why Europe should care about having a competitive cloud position, it kind of stops there.
Even though it defines three key actions – around Standards, Terms and Public Sector taking a lead role – most described actions consist of softer items such as “promoting trust by coordinating with stakeholders”, “identifying best practices,” “promoting partnerships” and “investigating how to make use of other available instruments.” Now of course European cloud computing can benefit from funding reserved for other EU initiatives such as the Connecting Europe Facility and from side initiatives such as the “Opinion on Cloud Computing” published by the Article 29 working party that gives privacy-related contracting guidance, but in general the recent published plan seems to be more about what could and should be, than about what is or will be.

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