European Parliament recommends Open Source use

European Parliament recommends Open Source use

2020- 06- 03

In the last few days the European Parliament has published several resolutions in which it reinforces the need of European Institutions use Open Source solutions.

The discharge report for the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2018 was presented in February 2020, but the approval decision was only recently published.

In this first document, "Report on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2018, Section I – European Parliament" the role of Open Source and Open Data is highlighted and the importance and advantages of using this type of technology are reinforced, for the Institution and for European citizens. The report goes further and "strongly recommends any software developed for the institution to be made publicly available under free and open-source software licence". Therefore:

48. Recognises that the production of public data under open, machine-readable format, easily accessible and re-usable, offers great opportunities both for transparency towards the public and innovation; welcomes the current initiatives to create and convert part of its data that are of interest to the public under that format; underlines the need to have a more user-friendly, systematic and coordinated approach for such initiatives, under a well-defined Parliament open data policy;

49. Recognises the added value that free and open source software can bring to Parliament; underlines in particular their role in increasing transparency and avoiding vendor lock-in effects; recognises also their potential for security improvements as they permit to identify and fix the weaknesses; strongly recommends any software developed for the institution to be made publicly available under free and open-source software licence;

50. Notes that the results of roll-call votes in plenary should be available in an open, machine-readable format and easily visible on Parliament’s website; calls on Parliament therefore to publish the machine-readable version of the roll-call vote results next to the non-machine-readable versions, on the plenary minutes’ webpage;

Recently, the approval of the decision was published, that reiterates these recommendations.

In addition to the aforementioned report and approval decision, there are other complementary documents that continually reinforce the need and that value the use of Open Source software for the European Institutions. This is reflected in the report on the general budget of the EU, which concerns to  European Ombudsman (point 29), to European Data Protection Supervisor (point 20) and to the Court of Auditors (point 47).

With the use of Open Source tools, European institutions are no longer exclusively dependent on specific suppliers, which translates into greater control of their own technical systems and IT infrastructures, that is, more security on the one hand and more transparency on the other. .

ESOP congratulates the European Parliament on this decision and wants these principles to be adopted and implemented by all European institutions and by the governments of the various member states.

 

 

Image by Adrien Olichon from Burst