EU Competition Commissioner backs open standards in eGovernment
The EU Competition Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, publicly supported the use of open source software. She encouraged the public institutions to use open standards and suggested a much more active role of the European Commission in promoting open standards in eGovernment applications, by adopting an internal policy not to buy proprietary software.
In a public speech at a seminar hosted by OpenForum Europe in Brussels last June, Kroes encouraged the use of open standards and open source software in eGovernment. Open standards allow software companies to develop products that work seamlessly together with those of other companies, according to OpenForum Europe. The open-source movement, which is different, advocates freely sharing the underlying code used for software, the group said.
Kroes suggested a much more active role of the European Commission in promoting open standards in eGovernment applications, by adopting an internal policy not to buy proprietary software: "The Commission must do its part. It must not rely on one vendor, it must not accept closed standards and it must refuse to become locked into a particular technology."
The EU Commissioner's speech shows an indirect support to the Open Parliament petition initiated in March 2008 by OpenForum Europe, The European Software Market Association and the Free Software Foundation Europe asking the European Parliament to change its ICT system in order to allow the adoption of open standards.
Also Kroes praised the benefits of open standards: "No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first." She also encouraged the business customers to make a difference by promoting open standards: "I know a smart business decision when I see one. Choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed."
More about the Open Parliament petition
Citizens and stakeholder groups should not have to use the software
of a single company in order to communicate with their elected
officials or participate in the legislative process. Zea Partners supports this petition and the use of open standards and open source software in eGovernement.
Sign the petition : http://openparliament.eu/