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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<html newsdate="2017-02-14">
<title>European Free Software Policy Meeting 2017</title>
<h1>European Free Software Policy Meeting 2017</h1>
<p>Building on the experience from last year's <a href="/news/2016/news-20160205-01.html">successful
pre-FOSDEM meeting</a>, the <a href="/index.html">Free
Software Foundation Europe</a> and <a href="">OpenForum Europe</a> recently
continued the tradition of bringing together active Free Software groups
a day before the FOSDEM event, in order to discuss public policy related
actions at both the EU and the national levels. This year, the meeting
focused on encouraging exchanges of views between individual citizens
and decision-makers, by providing practical first-hand information on topics
relating to Free Software in public policy.</p>
<p>The session started with Sebastian Raible (parliamentary assistant to
Julia Reda (a Member of the European Parliament)), who gave a <a href="">presentation
about Free Software developments from the perspective of the European Parliament</a>. He explained
the progress of the <a href="">Free and Open Source Software Audit (or FOSSA) programme</a>, which
was extended for another three years at the end of 2016, and explained
that one of the main changes to the programme is that now it includes a
new “bug bounty” incentive scheme, rewarding the discovery and reporting
of new software bugs. Participants highlighted their concerns over the
methodology of FOSSA, and the need to focus on its aim, namely, support
for the security of the Free Software projects.</p>
<p>Next, Pierre Damas (Head of Sector, Digital Services at the Directorate
General of Information Technologies of the European Commission) shared
with the group some of the <a href="">Commission's plans</a> for
updating its <a href="">Open Source Software Strategy</a>, identifying
the key barriers and motivations for adopting it in practice. According
to Pierre Damas, although within the Commission Free Software is technically now
treated equally with its proprietary counterparts, there remains a lack
of political will to back up the mainstream adoption of Free Software technologies
within the EU institutions. According to him, the next step for the updated
Open Source Strategy in the Commission is the "digital transformation" of
areas such as "cloud", big data, and the "Internet of Things".</p>
<div class="captioned left" style="max-width: 650px; width: 53%">
<a href="/graphics/2017-policy-meeting.jpg">
<img src="/graphics/2017-policy-meeting.jpg" alt="Policy meeting" width="100%"/>
<p>Jaana Sahk-Labi (from the Estonian Permanent Representation to the EU) <a href="">presented
Estonia's national framework for supporting the implementation of Free Software</a>. Estonia is
considered to be the leader in e-Government at the EU level, and is planning
to highlight e-Government topics during its presidency of the Council of
the EU, in the second half of 2017. One of the main challenges for the
Estonian government in the upcoming presidency will be the right approach
for future-proofing "no legacy" policies that continue after the term of
Estonia's presidency has come to an end. Consequently, Estonia is preaching
for a digital revolution in the EU institutions.</p>
<p>Laurent Joubert (from the French government) <a href="">presented
the Open Source Contribution Policy Template</a> which has been drafted
by numerous representatives from governments, non-governmental
organisations, companies, international organisations and academic sector
as a part of the <a href="">Open
Government Partnership</a>. The aim of this template is to provide an easily
shareable and ready-to-use template for governments – as well as other
public administrations - to set up a policy for code contributions made
by civil servants, which have to be open by default. The ultimate goal of
such a policy is to facilitate, share and reuse the code developed by and
for public administrations.</p>
<p>The speakers' presentations were followed by a round table discussion, engaging
the participants in considering the possibility creating a dashboard, which
would serve as a tool for advocacy groups to assess best practices and
policies for supporting Free Software and Open Standards (OS) in Member States. Part
of the discussion was dedicated to finding ways to evaluate the existing
national or regional policies which support Free Software. A couple of identified
indicators of "openness" were: the level of Free Software usage; and the fact of
using global analytics of online procedures. In addition, certain other
criteria will also need to be taken into account: transparency of how Free Software
is adopted in the public sector; the implementation of the policy in practice; and
product maturity. The participants agreed to start working on listing the
parameters which would describe "best behaviour" on the part of government, with
a view to developing concrete steps or actions to support governments to
achieve this.</p>
<p>The meeting was a stepping-stone, paving the way for a bigger collaboration
on how to promote public policies supporting Free Software across Europe. We hope to continue
the collaboration and to coordinate our actions in order to collectively
make a difference on the policy level.</p>
<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">EuropeanParliament</tag>
<tag key="public-administration">Public Administration</tag>
<author id="malaja"/>