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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2015-03-25">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Joint statement : Maximising inclusiveness and engagement
  5. through the use of Open Standards in the European Commission</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body class="press release">
  8. <h1>Joint statement : Maximising inclusiveness and
  9. engagement through the use of Open Standards in the European Commission</h1>
  10. <p newsteaser="yes">Today is Document Freedom Day, the international
  11. day to celebrate and raise awareness of Open Standards. On this
  12. occasion, we would like to reflect on the importance for public
  13. institutions in general, and for the European Commission in
  14. particular, considering its leadership role, of using Open Standards
  15. in all their digital communication and services.
  16. </p>
  17. <p>
  18. <a href="http://fsfe.org/activities/os/def.en.html">Open
  19. Standards</a> are formats and protocols which everybody can use, free
  20. of charge and restriction, for which no specific software from a
  21. particular vendor is required. They are essential for interoperability
  22. and freedom of choice based on the merits of different software
  23. applications. For a public institution such as the European
  24. Commission, this is especially important because every EU citizen and
  25. company should have the right to communicate and interact with its
  26. administration using Open Standards exclusively, and not be forced to
  27. install and use software from any specific vendor. That is why we take
  28. this opportunity of Document Freedom Day, to voice our concerns on the
  29. improper use of standards in the context of applying for EU
  30. programmes.
  31. </p>
  32. <p>
  33. Nowadays, when applying for most EU programmes, applicants are
  34. typically required to fill in PDF forms that use elements only implemented
  35. in proprietary software from a particular vendor (Adobe), software that is
  36. currently not available on all platforms. This is a problem for many
  37. applicants who end up bereft of choice or excluded from the process
  38. altogether. It does not have to be this way, especially when a number of efficient
  39. alternatives exist that are entirely based on Open Standards. Generally,
  40. we would advise against the use of PDF for online forms, and would
  41. instead recommend solutions based Open Web Standards like HTML5 and
  42. XForms. With this joint statement, we call on the European Commission to
  43. address this situation and ensure that all interactions with the public can
  44. be performed entirely using Open Standards, thereby ensuring maximum
  45. inclusiveness and freedom of choice for all European citizens.
  46. </p>
  47. <p>
  48. Signatories :
  49. </p>
  50. <p>
  51. Jean-Christophe Becquet,
  52. President,
  53. April
  54. </p>
  55. <p>
  56. Karsten Gerloff,
  57. President,
  58. Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)
  59. </p>
  60. <p>
  61. Andreas Krisch,
  62. President,
  63. European Digital Rights (EDRi)
  64. </p>
  65. <p>
  66. Graham Taylor,
  67. CEO,
  68. OpenForum Europe (OFE)
  69. </p>
  70. <p>
  71. Peter Ganten,
  72. Chairman of the board,
  73. Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA)
  74. </p>
  75. </body>
  76. <tags>
  77. <tag>front-page</tag>
  78. <tag>DFD</tag>
  79. <tag>OpenStandards</tag>
  80. <tag>Policy</tag>
  81. </tags>
  82. </html>