[A2k] Joinup: 'Report on European Parliament's free software use is coming'

Erik Josefsson erik.hjalmar.josefsson at gmail.com
Sat Feb 23 00:31:42 PST 2013


    'Report on European Parliament's free software use is coming'

*A report on the use of free software and open standards by the European
Parliament is being written, says Alexander Alvaro, Vice-President of
the European Parliament. "The first steps were made and preliminary
information was presented to some of the Members of the EP." The report
was requested last year, in an amendment to the discharge of the EP's
2010 budget.*

The paper is to be written by the EP's IT department. The
parliamentarians are asking it to update them on the free software
applications used in the European Parliament. They also suggest that IT
department investigates the Parliaments' obligation to use free software
and open standards.

The topic is one of the items on the agenda of the 'Bureau of the
European Parliament', said Vice-President Alvaro (Group of the Alliance
of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) in an interview. The Bureau is
responsible for the EP's organisation and administration. "We were
supposed to hear more about it earlier this week, but this meeting was

Alvaro could not say when the report would be available.

*Conferences *
It is likely that the overview will be presented at a EP workshop,
'Legal Aspects of Free and Open Source Software' that is being organised
by the EP's Policy Department C and is to take place on 9 July. The
workshop, initiated by MEP Eva Lichtenberger (Group of the
Greens/European Free Alliance), coincides with the Libre Software
Meeting (LSM, also known as the Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre
or RMLL), one of Europe's bigger open source gatherings. The LSM is
taking place in Brussels from 6 to 11 July.

EP Vice-President Alvaro remarked that the parliament's IT Department is
also working on the release as free software of At4am. This is the EP's
software for authoring and management of amendments on parliamentary
texts. The source code is scheduled to be made available early this
summer. "That would be great, because we've been writing our own
software, eDemocracy, to help us get around some issues we have with
At4am and we would gladly switch to the open source-version."

*More information: *
European Parliament's 2010 budget discharge
Tentative agenda for the EP workshop on 'Legal Aspects of Free and Open
Source Software' (pdf)
RMLL 2013 conference site <http://2013.rmll.info/en/>

Additional info.

Here's the decision:

    *The European Parliament:*
    */[...] expects a full report on how Parliament's Free Software
    projects have developed with regards to use and users in Parliament,
    citizen interaction and procurement activities; suggests an
    investigation of Parliament's obligations under Rule 103 with regard
    to Free Software and Open Standards;/*

Here's Rule 103 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament:

    *Transparency of Parliament's activities*
    /*1. Parliament shall ensure that its activities are conducted with
    the utmost transparency, in accordance with the second paragraph of
    Article 1 of the Treaty on European Union, Article 15 of the Treaty
    on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 42 of the
    Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. */

Best regards.


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