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<html newsdate="2016-02-05">
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<title>European Free Software Policy Meeting 2016</title>
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<h1>European Free Software Policy Meeting 2016</h1>
<p>Traditionally, Brussels is the place to go for Free Software enthusiasts
and developers at the end of January. During <a href="http://fosdem.org">FOSDEM</a>,
hundreds of experts talk about their beloved project and discuss the past,
present and future of Open Source. It is a great place for meeting like-minded people.</p>
<div class="captioned right" style="max-width: 650px; width: 53%">
<a href="/graphics/2016-policy-meeting-reda-damas.jpg">
<img src="/graphics/2016-policy-meeting-reda-damas.jpg" alt="1" width="100%"/>
</a>
</div>
<p>At the afternoon before the start of the conference, the <a href="/">Free Software Foundation Europe</a> and <a href="https://openforumeurope.org">OpenForum Europe</a> organised a meeting of representatives of Free Software related
action groups of all sorts. 19 organisations were present. The purpose of
the meeting was to learn about each others activities, with an emphasis
on public policy related actions.</p>
<p>It was great to have Julia Reda, Member of the European Parliament,
with us at the meeting. She spoke about the Parliament's initiative to
ask the Commission to take an initiative to improve the quality control
practices around essential Free and Open Software used in critical
infrastructures <a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/eu-fossa/home">(FOSSA)</a>
and about the support for Free Software as expressed in
<a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&amp;reference=P8-TA-2016-0009&amp;language=EN&amp;ring=A8-2015-0371">the Parliament's report on the Digital Single Market initiative</a>
of the Commission. In this report, the Parliament:</p>
<ul>
<li><p>"Considers that software providers should better promote the
security advantages of open source software and security-related software
upgrades to users; calls on the Commission to explore an EU-wide
coordinated vulnerability disclosure programme, including the repair of
known software vulnerabilities, as a remedy against the abuse of software
vulnerabilities and security and personal data breaches".</p></li>
<li><p>"Urges the Commission and the Council to increase the share of
free and open source software and its reuse in and between public
administrations as a solution to increase interoperability".</p></li>
<li><p>"Calls for the increased use of free and open source software,
particularly in educational establishments and public administrations".</p></li>
</ul>
<p>Pierre Damas, a representative of the IT department of the European
Commission presented the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/informatics/oss_tech/index_en.htm">Open
Source Software strategy of the Commission</a>, demonstrating the importance
Free Software has for the Commission's IT infrastructure and the
commitment of the Commission to use Open Source Software as the basis
for all software development that has the potential to be re-used
elsewhere.</p>
<div class="captioned left" style="max-width: 650px; width: 53%">
<a href="/graphics/2016-policy-meeting-groups.jpg">
<img src="/graphics/2016-policy-meeting-groups.jpg" alt="2" width="100%"/>
</a>
</div>
<p>Each of the organisations present made a short presentation on the
nature of the organisation and on its major public policy related campaigns.
As major policy issues came forward the lack of possibilities to offer
Free Software in public tendering procedures, mainly due to lock-in effect
and the use of non-open standards and proprietary formats and the
continuous pressure of big proprietary software providers on politicians
to reverse decisions that favour the use of Open Source Software in public
administrations. Many organisations are also interested to work around
the question if software the development of which is paid for by taxpayer's
money should, in principle, be made available under a Open Source/Free
Software license which grants everybody the right to use it for any
purpose, to study how it works, to share it with others, and to improve
it.</p>
<p>We agreed that we have to continue working on the goals we share and
exchange information with each other. To do so we will set up a
mailinglist to continue discussions between the participants, and other
groups working on Open Source policy issues in Europe. In order to maintain
this collaboration, we are determined to make the pre-FOSDEM meeting a
tradition, so Free Software groups can meet up and exchange views and
ideas.</p>
</body>
<tags>
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="policy">Policy</tag>
<tag key="openstandards">Open Standards</tag>
<tag key="european-commission">European Commission</tag>
<tag key="european-parliament">European Parliament</tag>
<tag key="public-administration">Public Administration</tag>
</tags>
</html>