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<html newsdate="2014-03-26">
<version>1</version>
<head>
<title>Open Letter to EU institutions: Time to support Open Standards </title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>Open Letter to EU institutions: Time to support Open Standards</h1>
<p>In
an <a href="/freesoftware/standards/2014-03-26.OpenLetterToVilella.html">open
letter</a> to the European Parliament and the European Commission,
Free Software Foundation Europe
and <a href="http://openforumeurope.org">Open Forum Europe</a> are
asking the European institutions to improve their support for Open
Standards. The letter is directed to Giancarlo Vilella, the president
of the European Parliament's DG ITEC and chair of the
Inter-Institutional Committee for Informatics.
</p>
<p>
In a
recent <a href="https://ameliaandersdotter.eu/sites/default/files/andersdotter_annex.pdf">letter</a>
to MEP Amelia Andersdotter, the EC acknowledges that is is in a state
of "effective captivity" to Microsoft. As FSFE
has <a href="https://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/2011/06/06/the-european-commissions-locked-in-syndrome/">pointed
out repeatedly</a>, this is a persistent problem for the Commission,
the Council and the Parliament.
</p>
<p>
"Recognising a problem is always the first step towards solving it. We
appreciate the Commission's newfound frankness on the subject," says
FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff. "Along with Europe's citizens and
the continent's software industry, we now expect the Commission to
take action and free itself from this captivity."
</p>
<p>
The letter also raises the issue of video formats. Currently, it is
difficult or impossible for Free Software users to follow the
proceedings of the Parliament and the Council in real time, because
the live video streams of these organisations rely on proprietary
technology. This is a problem which OFE and FSFE have highlighted for
many years.
</p>
<p>
"This would be a comparatively simple measure for the European
institutions to improve the transparency of their work for ordinary
citizens," says Gerloff. "We fail to understand why there has not been
more progress on this issue over the past six years."
</p>
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