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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<html newsdate="2017-11-09">
<title>32 European ministers call for more Free Software in governmental infrastructure</title>
<h1>32 European ministers call for more Free Software in governmental infrastructure</h1>
<p>On 6 October, 32 European Ministers in charge of eGovernment
policy signed the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment that calls for more
collaboration, interoperable solutions, and sharing of good practices
throughout public administrations and across borders. Amongst other things,
the EU ministers recognised the need to make more use of Free Software
solutions and Open Standards when (re)building governmental digital
systems with EU funds.</p>
<p>The <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/document.cfm?doc_id=47559">Tallinn Declaration</a>,
lead by the Estonian EU presidency, has been adopted on 6 October 2017.
It is a ministerial declaration that marks a new political commitment
at European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) level on
priorities to ensure user-centric digital public services for both citizens
and businesses cross-border. While having no legislative power, the ministerial
declaration marks a political commitment to ensure the digital transformation
of public administrations through a set of commonly agreed principles
and actions.</p>
<p>The FSFE has previously submitted its <a href="/news/2017/news-20170710-01.html">input
for the aforementioned declaration</a> during the public consultation
round, asking for greater inclusion of Free Software in delivering truly
inclusive, trustworthy and interoperable digital services to all citizens
and businesses across the EU.</p>
<p>The adopted Tallinn Declaration proves to be a forward-looking document
that acknowledges the importance of Free Software in order to ensure the
principle of 'interoperability by default', and expresses the will of
all signed EU countries to:</p>
<p>"make more use of open source solutions and/or open standards when
(re)building ICT systems and solutions (among else, to avoid vendor
<p>Additionally, the signatories call upon the European Commission to:</p>
<p>"consider strengthening the requirements for use of open source
solutions and standards when (re)building of ICT systems and solutions
takes place with EU funding, including by an appropriate open
licence policy by 2020."</p>
<p>The last point is especially noteworthy, as it explicitly calls for
the European Commission to make use of Free Software and Open Standards
in building their ICT infrastructure with EU funds, which is in line with
our <a href="https://publiccode.eu">"Public Money, Public Code" campaign</a>
that is targeted at the demand for all publicly financed software developed
for the public sector to be publicly made available under Free Software licences.</p>
<div class="captioned" style="width:80%; margin: 1.5em auto;"><a href="https://publiccode.eu">
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/bb586c15dbff7cd1b31e877108084a2e.png" alt="Public Money Public Code - quote" /></a>
<h2>What's next?</h2>
<p>The Tallinn Declaration sets several deadlines for its implementation
in the next few years: with the annual presentation on the progress of
implementation of the declaration in the respective countries across
the EU and EFTA through the eGovernment Action Plan Steering Board.
The signatories also called upon the Austrian Presidency of the Council
of the EU to evaluate the implementation of the Tallinn Declaration in
autumn 2018.</p>
<p>"The Declaration expresses the political will of the EU and
EFTA countries to digitise their governments in the most user-friendly
and efficient way. The fact that it explicitly recognises the role of
Free Software and Open Standards for a trustworthy, transparent and open
eGovernment on a high level, along with a demand for strengthened reuse
of ICT solutions based on Free Software in the EU public sector, is a
valuable step forward to establishing a <a href="https://publiccode.eu">"Public Money, Public Code"</a>
reality across Europe", says Polina Malaja, the FSFE's policy analyst.</p>
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="policy">policy</tag>
<tag key="pmpc">Public Code</tag>
<tag key="openstandards">OpenStandards</tag>