Last year, we introduced the AWS Digital Sovereignty Pledge, our commitment to offering AWS customers the most advanced set of sovereignty controls and features available in the cloud. Our approach from the beginning has been to make AWS sovereign-by-design. We built data protection features and controls in the AWS Cloud with input from financial services, healthcare, and government customers—who are among the most security- and data privacy-conscious organisations in the world. This has led to innovations like the AWS Nitro System, which powers all our modern Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and provides a strong physical and logical security boundary to enforce access restrictions so that nobody, including AWS employees, can access customer data running in Amazon EC2. The security design of the Nitro System has also been independently validated by the NCC Group in a public report.

With AWS, customers have always had control over the location of their data. In Europe, customers that need to comply with European data residency requirements have the choice to deploy their data to any of our eight existing AWS Regions (Ireland, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Stockholm, Milan, Zurich, and Spain) to keep their data securely in Europe. To further support customers, we’ve innovated to offer more control and choice over their data. For example, we announced further transparency and assurances, and new dedicated infrastructure options with AWS Dedicated Local Zones.

Announcing the AWS European Sovereign Cloud

When we speak to public sector and regulated industry customers in Europe, they share how they are facing incredible complexity and changing dynamics with an evolving sovereignty landscape. Customers tell us they want to adopt the cloud, but are facing increasing regulatory scrutiny over data location, European operational autonomy, and resilience. We’ve learned that these customers are concerned that they will have to choose between the full power of AWS or feature-limited sovereign cloud solutions. We’ve had deep engagements with European regulators, national cybersecurity authorities, and customers to understand how the sovereignty needs of customers can vary based on multiple factors, like location, sensitivity of workloads, and industry. These factors can impact their workload requirements, such as where their data can reside, who can access it, and the controls needed.

We’re excited to announce our plans to launch the AWS European Sovereign Cloud, a new, independent cloud for Europe, designed to help public sector organisations and customers in highly regulated industries meet their evolving sovereignty needs. We’re designing the AWS European Sovereign Cloud to be separate and independent from our existing Regions, with infrastructure located wholly within the European Union (EU), with the same security, availability, and performance our customers get from existing Regions today. To deliver enhanced operational resilience within the EU, only EU residents who are located in the EU will have control of the operations and support for the AWS European Sovereign Cloud. As with all current Regions, customers using the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will benefit from the full power of AWS with the same familiar architecture, expansive service portfolio, and APIs that millions of customers use today. The AWS European Sovereign Cloud will launch its first AWS Region in Germany available to all European customers.

The AWS European Sovereign Cloud will be sovereign-by-design, and will be built on more than a decade of experience operating multiple independent clouds for the most critical and restricted workloads. Like existing Regions, the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will be built for high availability and resiliency, and powered by the AWS Nitro System, to help ensure the confidentiality and integrity of customer data. Customers will have the control and assurance that AWS will not access or use customer data for any purpose without their agreement. AWS gives customers the strongest sovereignty controls among leading cloud providers. For customers with enhanced data residency needs, the AWS European Sovereign cloud is designed to go further and will allow customers to keep all metadata they create (such as the roles, permissions, resource labels, and configurations they use to run AWS) in the EU. The AWS European Sovereign Cloud will also be built with separate, in-Region billing and usage metering systems.

Continued AWS investment in Europe

The AWS European Sovereign Cloud represents continued AWS investment in Europe. We drive economic development through investing in infrastructure, jobs, and skills in communities and countries across the region. Amazon employs more than 150,000 people in permanent roles across the EU, and some of our largest AWS development teams are located in Europe, with key centres in Dublin, Dresden, and Berlin. As part of our continued commitment to contribute to the development of digital skills, we will hire and develop additional local personnel to operate and support the AWS European Sovereign Cloud.

We remain committed to giving our customers control and choices to help meet their evolving digital sovereignty needs. Learn more about European Digital Sovereignty on AWS.