[A2k] The European Commission Reinforces its Strategy On Free Software: Now Let's See Some Action

Frédéric Couchet fcouchet at april.org
Tue Apr 7 05:41:08 PDT 2015


The European Commission Reinforces its Strategy On Free Software: Now
Let's See Some Action

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The European Commission has published a new version of its Free Software
Strategy for the 2014-2017 period. This strategy largely builds on the
previous one while adding a more affirmative attitude towards Free
Software. This declaration of intention must now be followed by concrete
action to organise the deployment of Free Software within the

The European Commission strategy is a ten-point program, largely similar to the previous version's ten points. Most of the notable enhancements are as follows.

    - Better consideration of Free Softare in procurement (proposition
      2). Giving Free Software a chance is a start, but a more voluntary
      policy must follow. In this respect, proposition 4 (already in the
      previous version) suggests giving Free Software priority in
      certain areas.

    -A step towards the use of software which supports truly open
    formats; but one must remain careful about this, especially
    considering how version 2 of the European Interoperability Framework
    (EIF) backpedaled on interoperability. 

    - A will to facilitate participation in Free Software communities
      outside the Commission.

The suggested improvements are in line with the French Ayrault circular
[fr] on the proper use of Free Software by government services. Yet,
this strategy should be welcomed with moderate enthusiasm as long as it
isn't transformed into tangible action. Let us hope this new version of
the strategy will motivate as many developers and public servants in the
Commission as possible to develop and promote the use of Free Software.

Still, much is left to be done to achieve real public policy in favour
of Free Software.

All the best,

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