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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2014-12-12">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Study: To ensure transparency, European Parliament must adopt Free Software, Open Standards</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body class="press release">
  7. <h1>Study: To ensure transparency, European Parliament must adopt Free Software, Open Standards</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">
  9. A study released on Friday says that the European Parliament must adopt Free
  10. Software and <a href="https://fsfe.org/activities/os/def.en.html">Open
  11. Standards</a> in order to fulfil its transparency obligations. The
  12. authors conclude that "the Rules of Procedure of the European
  13. Parliament should whenever possible make Free Software and Open
  14. Standards mandatory for all systems and data used for the work of
  15. Parliament."
  16. </p>
  17. <p>
  18. The study,
  19. entitled <a href="http://www.greens-efa.eu/fileadmin/dam/Documents/Studies/Ensuring-Utmost-Transparency--Piana-Oberg-Korff.pdf">"Ensuring
  20. utmost transparency -- Free Software and Open Standards under the
  21. Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament"</a>, was prepared by
  22. two legal experts for
  23. the <a href="http://www.greens-efa.eu/free-software-and-open-standards-in-the-european-parliament-13245.html">Greens/EFA</a>
  24. in the European Parliament. Its authors, the legal experts Carlo Piana
  25. (Italy) and Ulf Öberg (Sweden), argue that the Parliament is committed
  26. to an even higher standard of openness than other EU institutions.
  27. </p>
  28. <blockquote><p>
  29. "This study sends a strong signal that Free Software and Open
  30. Standards are essential for the European institutions to fulfil their
  31. transparency obligations," says FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff. "We
  32. call on the European Parliament to implement the study's
  33. recommendations at all levels, and as quickly as possible, in
  34. particular with regard to access and use of documents, email and
  35. encryption, video streaming, and upcoming procurement decisions."
  36. </p></blockquote>
  37. <p>
  38. The study lists a number of concrete steps the European Parliament
  39. needs to take in order to fulfil its transparency obligations:
  40. </p>
  41. <p>
  42. <ul>
  43. <li>Immediate technical measures includes to enable access and use of
  44. documents, email and encryption with and through Open Standards. In
  45. other words, the European Parliament must make it possible to work
  46. with ODF, IMAP and OpenPGP inside the Parliament. It must also ensure
  47. that citizens can use these open standards to communicate with the
  48. Parliament, regardless of the software platform they are using.</li>
  49. <li>When acquiring software and services, the European Parliament
  50. should prefer Free Software based on Open Standards. This is not only
  51. allowed by the EU's procurement rules, but actually "serves the
  52. general economic interest of the EU".</li>
  53. <li>The European Parliament should continously check that its IT
  54. infrastructure and services comply with the Constitutional Principle
  55. of Openness and the Parliament's own Rules of Procedure to ensure the
  56. utmost transparency.</li>
  57. </ul>
  58. </p>
  59. <p>
  60. FSFE and others have repeatedly criticised the Parliament for failing
  61. on transparency. Currently, MEPs and parliamentary staff do not have
  62. access to a standards-compliant email solution, and live video streams
  63. from the Parliament are not accessible for Free Software users.
  64. </p>
  65. <blockquote><p>
  66. "The Parliament needs to open itself to the world," says
  67. Gerloff. "Live video streams that allow all Europeans to follow the
  68. Parliament's work are essential to democracy in the 21st
  69. century. Encryption is a necessity to allow the citizens to talk to
  70. their MEPs in confidence. Utmost transparency is one of the EU's
  71. fundamental principles, and Europeans expect their Parliament to do
  72. better in this regard."
  73. </p></blockquote>
  74. <p>
  75. The Greens/EFA are soliciting <a href="http://euwiki.org/Ensuring_utmost_transparency_--_Free_Software_and_Open_Standards_under_the_Rules_of_Procedure_of_the_European_Parliament">feedback</a> for a second edition of the study.
  76. </p>
  77. <p class="hide">
  78. Media contact: <br />
  79. Karsten Gerloff <br />
  80. Mail: gerloff@fsfe.org <br />
  81. tel.: +49 176 9690 4298
  82. </p>
  83. </body>
  84. <tags>
  85. <tag>front-page</tag>
  86. <tag content="Open Standards">OpenStandards</tag>
  87. <tag content="European Parliament">EuropeanParliament</tag>
  88. <tag>IT</tag>
  89. </tags>
  90. </html>