The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT) has long recognised the value of open source software solutions. DIGIT first formulated an Open Source Software Strategy in 2000, and has since updated this every so many years.
The first Open Source Strategy focused on the use of open source software within DIGIT, foremost in its Data Centre. Just three years later, the strategy was revised to capture the fast-expanding use, and to put open source on equal footing with proprietary alternatives in procurement. Subsequent versions focused on the creation of and, respectively, contribution to open source, egged on by the growing number of European Commission developers being active in open source projects.
Examples of our involvement in open source are found all over the organisation. We massively use open source (Linux) distributions running our servers for websites, portals and web services. We use it for our IT security, for many of our internal solutions and services. You find it on our desktops, and in smart phone apps. We share an increasing number of solutions under open source licences. We use it to co-create and collaborate.
DIGIT is now taking the next big step.
At an EU eGovernment meeting in Tallinn (Estonia) in late 2017, the member states unanimously called upon the European Commission "to consider strengthening the requirements for the 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". This “Tallinn eGovernment declaration” urges the European institutions to increase participation in open source software communities and developments.
This talk will focus on the most recent revision of our open source strategy. This version will set the tone for the use of open source at a European level. It will reflect the Commission’s new way of working and highlight the benefits of using open source to other public services and others.