Newsletter Archives
December 2016
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December 2016

The ACM Europe Policy Committee (EUACM) is a standing committee of ACM Europe Council dedicated to engage with the European Commission and member states' governmental bodies and informatics and computer science communities. The aim is to become a source of expert advice on computer science and informatics matters representing the entire computer science professional community.

EUACM distributes monthly newsletters to keep our members informed of policy issues and developments in Europe, as well as past and future EUACM meetings and activities.

We are always looking for readers' feedback. Please let us know your comments and requests. Please send your feedback to Maarja Meitern at


EUACM is pleased to announce that the Cybersecurity White Paper finalized in October 2016 is finally available online; you can download the paper here. We are currently in touch with the Scientific Advisory Mechanism (SAM) of the European Commission to develop further our white paper. Therefore, we are looking for expert volunteers from the ACM Europe community willing to collaborate with key references in some specific areas of cybersecurity. For further information please write to At the end of January EUACM is planning to attend some policy events in Brussels such as the Science|Business event on Defence R&D and an FP9 working group meeting. We will report on the results of these events later. The ACM Europe Council is also starting to prepare a cybersecurity technical track for the ACM Europe conference which will take place in Barcelona on 7 September 2017. EUACM is actively supporting this part of the agenda, which will be published soon.


Privacy and Security

ePrivacy Consultation Results

On December 19 the European Commission published the results of a public consultation about citizens' views on online privacy. The results show that nationals of the European Union are strongly in favor of protecting their confidentiality online, while industry holds a mixed opinion. Commission ordered two studies, a public consultation and a Eurobarometer study. The Eurobarometer study received 27,000 responses. According to the survey 89% of the citizens would like to see that "the default settings of their browser should stop their information from being shared" and 90% would like to have the possibility to encrypt all their messages and calls. The complete report can be found here.

The results of these studies will be used when reviewing the ePrivacy Directive, which the EC is expected to reveal in the beginning of 2017.

European Court of Justice Ruling on Legality of Surveillance Measures

On 21 December the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a verdict on the legality of surveillance measures. The court ruled that data retention is only allowed when it is targeted and it is aimed at combating "serious" crime, in all other circumstances "indiscriminate" data gathering is not compatible with European human rights law. Therefore, national laws that allow governments to force companies to store data on the online activity of all customers are incompatible with the ruling. The court states in its press release that "the Members States may not impose a general obligation to retain data on providers of electronic communications services".


Launch of Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition

On 1 December European Commission launched the new Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, which has as its aim to meet the high demands of digital skills at European labour market. Coalition members are committing themselves to address the issue of the digital skills gap from high-level ICT skills to the skills needed by a regular citizens in their everyday life. The commission is calling for all stakeholders to join the initiative. The commission states that "all organisations, groups or government bodies taking action to boost digital skills in Europe can become members of the Coalition by endorsing the objectives and principles of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Members Charter online". Until now 39 organizations have made pledges under the initiative.



On 15 December European Union's Global Satellite Navigation system (GNSS), also known as the European GPS, started to offer Galileo's initial services. Currently the Galileo constellation consists of 18 satellites, and another 12 satellites are expected to join the ones already in orbit by 2020. Vice-President Maros Sefcovic is expecting Galileo to "increase geo-location precision ten-fold and enable the next generation of location-based technologies; such as autonomous cars, connected devices, or smart city services."

In addition to GPS, Galileo is expected to: support emergency operations; offer more accurate navigation for citizens; better time synchronization for critical infrastructures; and secure services for public authorities. Galileo will be managed by the European GNSS Agency and the programme is run by the European Commission with the help of European Space Agency.

Ansip to take over the Digital Economy and Society portfolio from Oettinger

On 28 October President Juncker decided that Gunter H. Oettinger will become the Commissioner responsible for Budget and Human Resources beginning January 1, 2017. Therefore, Oettinger's portfolio of Digital Economy and Society will be transferred temporarily to Vice-President Andrus Ansip. Digital Economy and Society portfolio entails media and information issues such as telecoms and IT.


Upcoming Events in January and February

9th Annual Winter School on Quantum Cyber Security: unique opportunity to learn about the new field of quantum cyber security, to understand state-of-the-art practical quantum communications and to gain hands-on experience. 14-20 January, Les Diablerets, Switzerland

FIC 2017 - 9th International Cybersecurity Forum: The international cybersecurity forum is a platform aiming at promoting a pan-European vision of cybersecurity as well as to strengthen the fight against cybercrime. 24-25 January, Brussels

CPDP 2017 - Computers, Privacy & Data Protection: a world-leading multidisciplinary conference, CPDP offers the cutting edge in legal, regulatory, academic and technological development in privacy and data protection. 25-27 January, Brussels

The future for UK science and innovation funding and policy - Brexit, the HE and Research Bill and supporting disruptive innovation: Topics for discussion will include those outlined in the consultation for the National Innovation Plan, such as the policy direction needed to maximise the opportunities presented by big data, potential further reform of IP laws, improving access to finance for disruptive start-ups and challenger businesses, as well as how the UK can retain and continue to attract R&D-intensive businesses to operate here. 2 February, London

SRA Policy Forum: Risk Governance for Key Enabling Technologies: The SRA Forum will provide discussion of current initiatives that are centered on refining the risk governance of emerging technologies through the integration of traditional risk analytic tools alongside considerations of social and economic concerns. 1-3 March, Venice


Public Consultations

Public stakeholder consultation—interim evaluation of Horizon 2020. Open until 15 January

Open Calls

CO-CREATION-01-2017: Education and skills: empowering Europe's young innovators. Open until 2 February
CO-CREATION-06-2017: Policy-development in the age of big data: data-driven policy-making, policy-modelling and policy-implementation Open until 2 February
COMPET-1-2017: Technologies for European non-dependence and competitiveness Open until 1 March
COMPET-7-2017: Technology transfer and business generators Open until 1 March
EO-2-2017: EO Big Data Shift Open until 3 March
DS-06-2017: Cryptography Open until 25 April
EINFRA-12-2017: Data and Distributed Computing e-infrastructures for Open Science Open until 29 March
ICT-16-2017: Big data PPP: research addressing main technology challenges of the data economy Open until 25 April
ICT-20-2017: Tools for smart digital content in the creative industries Open until 25 April
IoT-03-2017: R&I on IoT integration and platforms Open until 25 April
ICT-23-2017: Interfaces for accessibility Open until 25 April

Forthcoming Calls

DS-07-2017: Cybersecurity PPP: Addressing Advanced Cyber Security Threats and Threat Actors Opening date: 1 March 2017
DS-08-2017: Cybersecurity PPP: Privacy, Data Protection, Digital Identities Opening date: 1 March 2017
CIP-01-2016-2017: Prevention, detection, response and mitigation of the combination of physical and cyber threats to the critical infrastructure of Europe Opening date: 1 March 2017
FETHPC-02-2017: Transition to Exascale Computing Opening date: 12 April 2017

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