The European Commission has announced the updating its strategy for internal use of open source software. The Commission, which is already using open source for many of its key IT services and software solutions, will further increase the internal role of this type of software. The renewed strategy puts a special emphasis on procurement, contribution to open source software projects and releasing more of the software developed within the Commission as open source.
The specific objectives of the renewed strategy are:
Equal treatment in procurement
The Commission will ensure a level playing field when procuring new software. This means that open source and proprietary software will be assessed on an equal basis, being both evaluated on the basis of total cost of ownership, including exit costs.
Contribution to communities
The Commission services will increasingly participate in open source software communities to build on the open source elements used in the Commission’s software.
Clarification of legal aspects
To enable easy collaboration with the open source communities, Commission developers will benefit from appropriate legal coaching and advice on how to deal with the intellectual property aspects of open source software.
Open source and interoperable software developed by the Commission
Software produced by the Commission departments, and particularly software produced for use outside the Commission, will be released as open source under the European Union Public License (EUPL) and published on the Joinup platform. The software produced should aim to be interoperable and use open technical specifications.
Transparency and better communication
The updated strategy emphasises improved governance, an increasing use of open source in the field of security and this strategy’s alignment with the EC’s ISA Programme, enabling the modernisation of cross-border and cross-sector eGovernment services.