European Parliament To Weigh Open Source Pilots

Gijs Hillenius | JoinUp | June 18, 2014

Next Monday, the European Parliament's budget committee will consider a proposal from the Green/EFA group to pilot the use of open source encryption software, to be used by parliament members and their staff. The Green/EFA group is also asking to trial the use of open standards and open source to make available the EP's data available in machine-readable format.

If approved by the Budget Committee, the pilots will be tabled in September for inclusion in the next EP budget.  MEPs Eva Lichtenberger and Carl Schlyter from the Green/EFA group are pushing the European Parliament's IT department to increasingly turn to free and open source software, and to rid itself of IT vendor lock-in. They point out that the Parliament's statutory requirements and demands for transparency and openness also apply to its ICT solutions and argue that, by switching to free and open source, the EP will retain ownership over its documents, data and digital infrastructure.

The two MEPs now want the EP to involve the Debian free software community to help MEPs try out open source encryption software. This will build on a current pilot organised internally by the Green/EFA group, where ten staff members are using Debian laptops for their daily task in the Parliament. Broadening this test, the Green/EFA group hopes, will lead to synergies with other European public administrations using these free software solutions...