German and French Economy Ministers Peter Altmaier and Bruno Le Maire will present a Franco-German initiative in Bercy on Thursday “For a European data infrastructure”, which must find its first concrete translations from the beginning of 2021. France and Germany want to join forces in the face of the migration of the IT infrastructures of their institutions and companies to so-called “cloud” platforms (dematerialized computing ), dominated today by large American players such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft or Google.
Through their initiative, called Gaia-X, they want to promote the growth of European cloud providers by bringing them together around common standards and norms, to promote their interoperability against American and soon Chinese giants. ” Functionally, it will be a market place, where there will be a catalog of service offers populated by different suppliers who undertake to respect certain principles ”, we explain to Bercy. Non-European players will not be excluded from the Gaia-X marketplace, but they will have to respect the rules and guarantees that it imposes, the same source explained.
Among the main principles that Gaia-X-stamped cloud offers must respect, “reversibility”, ie the possibility for a company to easily leave one cloud platform to put its data on another. This is to avoid a “ratchet” effect, which would see customers base all their IT on the technical solutions of a cloud provider and then remain completely dependent and unable to change. It will also be a question of offering clarity on the jurisdiction of reference for the stored data.
France and Germany are concerned about extraterritorial laws in force in the United States and China, which could in some cases force cloud operators from those countries to provide data stored on their servers, regardless of their location in the world. All these rules will be defined in the coming months by a group of 22 companies, 11 French and 11 German, which will work under the aegis of a future association under Belgian law responsible for leading the process. Bercy hopes that the first “Gaia-X” stamped services will see the light of day in the first half of 2021.