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The European Commission Will Make its Software Solutions Open Source for Public Benefit

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The EU Commission is known for its strong take on privacy and open-source. A year ago, they asked their staff to use Signal for messaging instead of WhatsApp.

Now, they plan to make their software solutions publicly accessible for the benefit of society. In other words, anything that the EU uses for its internal work will be made open-source.

Public Money, Public Code

Considering that the taxpayers pay for the operations and fund the software, the code should also be available to the public.

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The European Commission pledges to release more software

  • The European Commission pledges to release more software

    The European Union and its legislative body, the European Commission continues to advance its digital strategy with open source software as one of the fundamental pillars. On this occasion it was the latter that announced news for the distribution of software developed to meet internal needs of the organization.

    According to the published information, the European Commission has approved a new regulation that favors free access to the software they produce as long as there are potential benefits for ‘citizens, businesses or other public services’, which from theory to practice may well encompass everything that unfolds under its roof.

    This new provision is supported in turn by a recent study also carried out by the Commission on the impact of open source software in areas such as technological independence, competitiveness and innovation in the economy of the European Union. The objective is to find solid evidence with which to shape European open source policies for the next few years.

    In economic terms, in fact, the calculations are most optimistic and point to a strong economic impact, of billions of euros of savings per year -by way of example, it is estimated between 65 and 95 billion euros in 2018 alone- and, with a minimal increase in the bet, there could be a growth in the EU’s GDP of around 100 billion euros.

OSI welcomes the Decision of the European Commission

  • OSI welcomes the Decision of the European Commission

    OSI welcomes the Decision of the European Commission on the open source licensing and reuse of Commission software. The December 8 Decision means that Commission services may choose to make Commission software available under open source licenses, something OSI has long advocated and which opens great opportunities both for individuals and companies.

    OSI encourages every part of the Commission to make the most of this new Decision, both for economic and civil reasons. A recent report for the Commission by Open Forum Europe (an OSI Affiliate) estimates that “open source software contributes between €65 to €95 billion to the European Union’s GDP” and observed that “if open source contributions increased by 10% in the EU, they would generate an additional 0.4% to 0.6% (around €100 billion) to the bloc’s GDP.” But as observed in the 2018 UNESCO “Paris Call” report, a document that OSI contributed to, software is also an essential element of our cultural heritage and legislators need to “create an enabling legal, policy and institutional environment where software source code can flourish as an integral part of knowledge societies” and especially leverage open source licensing to “enable effective independent auditing of software source code used to make decisions that may affect fundamental rights of human beings”.

European Commission to Open Source its Software Solutions

  • European Commission to Open Source its Software Solutions

    The European Commission has announced plans to make its software solutions open source. On the heels of a recent report detailing the impact of open source, the Commission has adopted new rules that will “enable its software solutions to be publicly accessible whenever there are potential benefits for citizens, companies or other public services.”

    “The new rules will increase transparency and help the Commission, as well as citizens, companies and public services across Europe, benefit from open source software development. Pooling of efforts to improve the software and the co-creation of new features lowers costs for the society, as we also benefit from the improvements made by other developers. This can also enhance security as external and independent specialists check software for bugs and security flaws, said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration, in the announcement.

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