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