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2014-03-26.OpenLetterToVilella.en.xhtml 5.2KB

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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <html>
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Open Letter to Giancarlo Vilella, DG ITEC, European
  5. Parliament</title>
  6. <meta content="Open letter to Giancarlo Vilella, Director General of
  7. DG ITEC, European Parliament." name="description" />
  8. <meta content="Open Standards European Parliament European Commission
  9. European institutions public procurement ODF OOXML competition
  10. innovation FSFE" name="keywords" />
  11. </head>
  12. <body>
  13. <p id="category"><a href="http://www.fsfe.org/work.html">Our Work</a> / <a href="/activities/os/os.html">Overview of Open Standards</a></p>
  14. <p>
  15. Giancarlo Vilella <br />
  16. Director General, DG ITEC <br />
  17. European Parliament <br />
  18. </p>
  19. <p>
  20. Re : Use of document and video formats in the EU Institutions
  21. </p>
  22. <p>
  23. Dear Mr Vilella,
  24. </p>
  25. <p>
  26. As you may know we are celebrating
  27. today <a href="http://documentfreedom.org">Document Freedom
  28. Day</a>. The goal of this annual event is to raise public awareness on
  29. information accessibility and the use of open standards. We thought
  30. this would be a good opportunity share with you, in your capacity as
  31. the Chair of the Inter-Institutional Committee for Informatics, some
  32. reflections on the use of document formats in the EU Institutions.
  33. </p>
  34. <p>
  35. We believe that the EU Institutions have a key role to play in setting
  36. an example for public administrations throughout Europe, and should
  37. embrace the opportunity to spread good practices through enlightened
  38. leadership.
  39. </p>
  40. <p>
  41. On the issue of video standards, we regret that the infrastructure for
  42. video-streaming of the European Parliament and the Council is still
  43. based on proprietary formats (Windows Media Player and Silverlight
  44. respectively). This is a problem for EU citizens and stakeholder
  45. groups wishing to participate in the legislative process without being
  46. forced to use the products of a single company. We have
  47. been <a href="http://openparliament.eu/petition">raising this
  48. issue</a> since 2008, when we
  49. were <a href="http://www.openforumeurope.org/library/open-parliament/openforum-europe-response-to-open-parliament-petition-hearing-held-on-6-11-2008/">told</a>
  50. that the Parliament was working on a new system for streaming that
  51. would be built on open standards and accessible to all. We would be
  52. interested to know if this project is still in development.
  53. </p>
  54. <p>
  55. We are appreciative of
  56. the <a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/osor/news/ec-recommends-supporting-open-document-format">recent
  57. efforts</a> of the Institutions to support open standards in document
  58. exchange and
  59. the <a href="https://ameliaandersdotter.eu/sites/default/files/andersdotter_annex.pdf">acknowledgement
  60. by the European Commission</a> [pdf] of
  61. “effective captivity” to a single provider for its office automation,
  62. although we would be interested to see the data which has led the
  63. Commission to claim that “the lack of choice is almost total as
  64. regards... productivity tools”. We are also conscious of the
  65. complexity of managing the infrastructure of a large user base with
  66. diverse needs and some of the specific challenges encountered in the
  67. context of a multilingual environment. Important decisions such as the
  68. choice of a document format should be based on user needs and a sound
  69. (long term) cost-benefit analysis, before any other considerations.
  70. </p>
  71. <p>
  72. With regards to the current situation, we regret that
  73. the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/informatics/oss_tech/pdf/2011-07-25_ares.pdf">decision</a> [pdf]
  74. made by the Inter-Institutional Committee for Informatics in 2010
  75. remains to be fully enforced. Indeed, to our knowledge the chosen
  76. format for the exchange of editable documents among the Institutions
  77. (OOXML) is not fully implemented in any of the applications that are
  78. currently used. We are also concerned that the stated external support
  79. for ODF <a href="https://twitter.com/RyanHeathEU/status/439036889937752064">appears to be inconsistent.</a>
  80. </p>
  81. <p>
  82. Throughout Europe, public administrations are increasingly adopting
  83. open standards. This gives them the power to choose the applications
  84. that are right for them and the citizens who use their services, by
  85. ensuring real innovation and competition between providers. Just a few
  86. weeks ago, the UK government published a <a href="http://standards.data.gov.uk/proposal/sharing-collaborating-government-documents">recommendation</a> on the
  87. formats in which editable government information should be shared and
  88. requested.
  89. </p>
  90. <p>
  91. In a recent meeting, the Inter-institutional Committee for
  92. Informatics <a href="http://ep-technology.tumblr.com/post/77057711660/cii-meeting-how-the-ict-supports-the-european">expressed
  93. the view</a> that document formats were “not a secondary issue” and
  94. decided to “explore the possibility of harmonizing the format of the
  95. documents”. We hope that these reflections will be followed up with
  96. action, and we remain at your entire disposal to provide help and
  97. guidance when and where appropriate.
  98. </p>
  99. <p>
  100. Sincerely,
  101. </p>
  102. <p>
  103. Graham Taylor
  104. Chief Executive
  105. OpenForum Europe
  106. </p>
  107. <p>
  108. Karsten Gerloff
  109. President
  110. Free Software Foundation Europe
  111. </p>
  112. <p>
  113. cc Stephen Quest, European Commission<br />
  114. Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission<br />
  115. Catherine Day, European Commission<br />
  116. Neelie Kroes, European Commission<br />
  117. Dirk Schilders, Council of the EU
  118. </p>
  119. </body>
  120. </html>