32 European ministers call for more Free Software in governmental infrastructure

press at fsfe.org press at fsfe.org
Thu Nov 9 16:45:04 CET 2017

 = 32 European ministers call for more Free Software in governmental infrastructure =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/2017/news-20171109-01.nl.html ]

On 6 October, 32 European Ministers in charge of eGovernment policy
signed the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment that calls for more
collaboration, interoperable solutions, and sharing of good practices
throughout public administrations and across borders. Amongst other
things, the EU ministers recognised the need to make more use of Free
Software solutions and Open Standards when (re)building governmental
digital systems with EU funds.

The Tallinn Declaration [1], lead by the Estonian EU presidency, has
been adopted on 6 October 2017. It is a ministerial declaration that
marks a new political commitment at European Union (EU) and European
Free Trade Area (EFTA) level on priorities to ensure user-centric
digital public services for both citizens and businesses cross-border.
While having no legislative power, the ministerial declaration marks a
political commitment to ensure the digital transformation of public
administrations through a set of commonly agreed principles and actions.

The FSFE has previously submitted its input for the aforementioned
declaration [2] during the public consultation round, asking for greater
inclusion of Free Software in delivering truly inclusive, trustworthy
and interoperable digital services to all citizens and businesses across
the EU.

The adopted Tallinn Declaration proves to be a forward-looking document
that acknowledges the importance of Free Software in order to ensure the
principle of 'interoperability by default', and expresses the will of
all signed EU countries to:

    "make more use of open source solutions and/or open standards when
    (re)building ICT systems and solutions (among else, to avoid vendor

Additionally, the signatories call upon the European Commission to:

    "consider strengthening the requirements for use of open source
    solutions and standards when (re)building of ICT systems and
    solutions takes place with EU funding, including by an appropriate
    open licence policy – by 2020."

The last point is especially noteworthy, as it explicitly calls for the
European Commission to make use of Free Software and Open Standards in
building their ICT infrastructure with EU funds, which is in line with
our "Public Money, Public Code" campaign [3] that is targeted at the
demand for all publicly financed software developed for the public
sector to be publicly made available under Free Software licences.

 == What's next? ==

The Tallinn Declaration sets several deadlines for its implementation in
the next few years: with the annual presentation on the progress of
implementation of the declaration in the respective countries across the
EU and EFTA through the eGovernment Action Plan Steering Board. The
signatories also called upon the Austrian Presidency of the Council of
the EU to evaluate the implementation of the Tallinn Declaration in
autumn 2018.

    "The Declaration expresses the political will of the EU and EFTA
    countries to digitise their governments in the most user-friendly
    and efficient way. The fact that it explicitly recognises the role
    of Free Software and Open Standards for a trustworthy, transparent
    and open eGovernment on a high level, along with a demand for
    strengthened reuse of ICT solutions based on Free Software in the EU
    public sector, is a valuable step forward to establishing a "Public
    Money, Public Code" [4] reality across Europe", says Polina Malaja,
    the FSFE's policy analyst.

 == Trefwoorden ==

- front-page [5]

- policy [6]

- Public Code [7]

- OpenStandards [8]

- Digital infrastructure [9]

 1: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/document.cfm?doc_id=47559
 2: https://fsfe.org/news/2017/news-20170710-01.html
 3: https://publiccode.eu
 4: https://publiccode.eu
 5: https://fsfe.org/tags/tagged-frontpage.nl.html
 6: https://fsfe.org/tags/tagged-policy.nl.html
 7: https://fsfe.org/tags/tagged-pmpc.nl.html
 8: https://fsfe.org/tags/tagged-openstandards.nl.html
 9: https://fsfe.org/tags/tagged-digitalinfrastructure.nl.html

  == About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to
  control technology. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our
  lives; and it is important that this technology empowers rather than
  restricts us. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use,
  understand, adapt and share software. These rights help support other
  fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press and privacy.

  The FSFE helps individuals and organisations to understand how Free
  Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.
  It enhances users' rights by abolishing barriers to Free Software
  adoption, encourage people to use and develop Free Software, and
  provide resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software
  in Europe.


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