ACM-Europe Policy News

April 2016



On April 19 a set of Communications of the European Commission regarding the Digital Single Market were presented. "Digitising European Industry: Reaping the Full Benefits of a Digital Single Market" is the first industry-related package under the Digital Single Market strategy.

As part of this approach, the Commission will invest €500 million in a pan-EU network of digital innovation hubs (centres of excellence in technology), set up large-scale pilot projects to strengthen Internet of Things, advanced manufacturing and technologies, present an EU skills agenda and speed up the standard setting process focusing on five priority areas: 5G, cloud computing, Internet of Things, data technologies and cybersecurity, and propose measures to modernise the digital public services.

Related to this announcement, the Commission launched the European Cloud initiative, to strengthen—initially—the scientific use of big data. Several actions are considered until 2020:

  • 2016: creating a European Open Science Cloud for European researchers and their global scientific collaborators by integrating e-infrastructure platforms
  • 2017: opening up by default all scientific data produced by future projects under Horizon2020
  • 2018: launching a flagship-type initiative to accelerate the nascent development of quantum technology, which is the basis for the next generation of supercomputers
  • 2020: developing and deploying a large scale European high performance computing, data storage and network infrastructure, including by acquiring two prototype next-generation supercomputers of which one would rank among the top three in the world, establishing a European big data centre, and upgrading the backbone network for research and innovation (GEANT).

High Performance Computing

Mateo Valero, Barcelona Supercomputing Center Director and member of the ACM Europe Council, wrote a guest post in Commissioner Oettinger's blog related to the strategy for the digital transformation of European Industry, presented on April 19. His article proposed the development of a flagship project for High Performance Computing.

The French company Atos announced the new Bull sequana supercomputer, the "most energy efficient" supercomputer.

Internet Governance, Cybersecurity and Data Protection

The ACM Europe Policy Committee (EUACM) is currently working on a position statement on cybersecurity, to be released in advance of a white paper on the same matter, to be released next autumn. This white paper will be the result of a joint effort between EUACM and its American counterpart, USACM. The aim is to compare the current situation of the cybersecurity policies framework both in the European Union and the United States, focussing on Education and Fundamental Research.

The global law firm DLA Piper released an updated version the Global Data Protection Handbook, with information about data protection regulation worldwide and comparisons between countries.

The European Commission's Article 29 Data Protection Working Party released its comments about the "Privacy Shield" as a replacement of the "Safe Harbor" agreement, rejected by the European Court of Justice in October 2015. The advisory group stated that the principles and guarantees afforded by the Privacy Shield were "inconsistent" and that the transfers of personal data are "insufficiently framed". The European Commission will now wait until the Article 31 Committee (constituted by representatives of the Member States) presents their comments by the end of May before making a final decision about the "Privacy Shield" framework. These comments are part of the multiple reactions from diverse stakeholders to the Privacy Shield.


The European Commission sent a statement of objections to Google, regarding its dominant position on Android operating system.


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The European Court of Auditors published a report on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology: "The European Institute of Innovation and Technology must modify its delivery mechanisms and elements of its design to achieve the expected impact", concluding that "the complex operational framework and management problems have impeded its overall effectiveness".



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The ACM Europe Policy Committee (EUACM) is a standing committee of ACM Europe focussed on being a part of multistakeholder and collaborative policy processes with the European Commission and member states' governmental bodies and informatics and computer science communities.

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.