A new, Brussels-based association for CIOs has launched today.

Called the European CIO Association, the not-for-profit organisation will operate across seven countries and is aimed at CIOs in larger, international companies.

The association's board includes chairman Michael Gorritz, who is group CIO of Daimler, David Roberts, executive director of The Corporate IT Forum in the UK, Thomas Endres, group CIO of Deutsche Lufthansa, Maarten Buikhuisen, director of global process management at Heineken International, Joss Delissen, CIO of PostNord, Gianluigi Castelli, executive VP of ICT at energy company ENI and Sylvain Jouanny, director at Finaki.

The European CIO Association intends to support CIOs by providing senior-level professional development services and facilitating meetings and information exchanges.

It will also represent the views and suggestions of CIOs and large corporate uses of IT services to governments and the vendor communities at EU level.

CIOs from member organisations of the Corporate IT forum, an independent body that brings together practitioners from more than 320 UK firms, will also have access to the association's services.

The association was set up because European CIOs felt that existing professional networks were too US-centric and steered by IT vendors.

"A critical issue for European based CIOs and businesses is the requirement for a single powerful voice to governments about technology and its use to ensure EU governmental developments and legislation properly reflect the views and needs of European business and markets," the European CIO Association said.

More than 400 CIOs will make up the founder members of the association.

Although the association only formally launched today, its founders have been working on the European Commission's cloud consultation over the past 12 months.

It warned that the adoption of cloud computing would be limited if the EC did not take the needs of larger businesses in consideration, along with those of vendors.

The association wants the European cloud strategy to have more protection of business data held by suppliers, to remove barriers to storing customer data in non-home countries, and to make it clear the jurisdiction for dealing with cross-border litigation.

"The Commission's strategy must address members and other businesses' needs on issues, such as security, data protection, licensing and the regulation of cloud service providers. The regulatory framework needs to be global otherwise European businesses will not adopt cloud computing," said David Roberts, executive director at The Corporate IT Forum.