GAIA-X: Fieldfisher advises Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy on founding in context of European Cloud Project | Fieldfisher
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Press Release

GAIA-X: Fieldfisher advises Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy on founding in context of European Cloud Project



Belgium, France, Germany

Hamburg/Brussels, December 10, 2020 - Thomas Jarzombek, Commissioner of the Economic Affairs Ministry for the Digital Industry and Start-ups and Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy (standing in for the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier), Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Economics, Finance and the Recovery, Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, and Italian Digital Minister Paola Pisano together with numerous representatives of the business community presented the GAIA-X initiative on the virtual Pan-European GAIA-X Summit.

More than 5,000 registered participants, including numerous company representatives from both providers and users of cloud services, learned about the project. The Europe-wide cloud and data infrastructure project aims to establish a sovereign European data ecosystem in line with European values. An important milestone is the founding of GAIA-X AISBL (Association internationale sans but lucratif) with currently 22 German and French companies. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the law firm Fieldfisher provides advice on the entire founding process of the project. Among the 22 founding members are Atos SE, the Fraunhofer Institute, Safran S.A. and SAP SE.

With the signing of the founding documents for a non-profit organization under Belgian law, GAIA-X AISBL (Association internationale sans but lucratif), an important step towards a European data infrastructure was already taken in September 2020. The chosen legal framework, which is based on existing European "non-profit" organizations, is intended to commit the members within the association to common goals such as digital sovereignty, data availability, interoperability, openness and transparency. In their speeches, both Thomas Jarzombek, Commissioner for the Digital Economy, and Minister Bruno Le Maire emphasized the importance of a common European data infrastructure with the highest standards of digital sovereignty for a living digital ecosystem.

GAIA-X aims to build a digital infrastructure "Made in Europe", based on a federated architecture according to European rules and standards. By linking the data eco- and infrastructure systems, the long-term goal of a digital, competitive overall ecosystem in Europe in line with the European data strategy is to be achieved. The chosen mechanism of self-regulation in the open digital ecosystem by the members themselves ensures data access and exchange by distributing and storing data only under the control of the user and the data owner. Confidentiality rules can thus be defined and adhered to and access to data and services can be individually regulated and coordinated. This enables companies to securely manage their data on the infrastructure.

Consultants to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy: 

Fieldfisher (Hamburg): Dr. Sven Labudda (Partner; Corporate), Oliver Süme (Partner; Technology; both Lead), Prof. Dr. Alexandra von Bismarck (Partner, IP), Dr. Sven-Alexander von Normann (Counsel) und Martin Lose (Senior Associate, both IP Enforcement and Litigation)

Fieldfisher (Düsseldorf): Dr. Christian Bahr (Partner; Co Head der Competition, Regulatory and Trade Gruppe), Catharina Richter (Senior Associate; Competition and Regulatory)  

Fieldfisher (Frankfurt am Main): Andre Happel (Partner; Tax)

Fieldfisher (Brussels): Thomas Lenné (Partner; Corporate; Lead), Tom Pick (Partner; Competition), Geoffroy Galéa (Of Counsel; Tax), Florence Gypens (Associate; Corporate), Valentin Deprez (Associate; Competition)

Fieldfisher (Paris): Antoine Gabizon (Partner; Tax and Structuring)

Press Contact:
Alexander Haghani (Head of Business Development & Marketing, Germany) 

Elisabet Hamerich (PR & Marketing Executive, Germany)