European Parliament admitted the Petition on Open Standards

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(post restored in 2021, with assumed date)

The European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions has admitted our Request for Adherence to Open Standards on 29 June 2009 with Petition Nr. 0413/2009.

In the admission letter the chairman of the Comitee points out that they recently deliberated on similar issues when examining petition 282/2008 on behalf of OpenForumEurope, “on the implications of ICT lock-in for participative democracy and for competition” [1]. See also the response [2] of OpenForumEurope. The recordings of the hearing are available in OGG [3] and more info can be found here [4]. Together with the admission letter the Chairman attaches copies of two documents (see attached scans):

– Letter from DIGIT-A Director C. Ellinides to the HoU of the Comitee of Petitions re. EC’s position on OFE’s petition. Two points deserve attention:

  • the EC claims to be fully aligned with both VP Kallas [5] and Comissioner Kroes [6]
  • the EC confirms its commitment to “subscribe, endorse and support, amongst other standards, the open standards”

– A transcription of Pascal Paridans’ (DIGIT-ITEC) speech during the same hearing, held on 6/11/2008. He states that the EP “advocates and favors the use of open standards and open source solutions”. He briefly describes the situation concentrating on the server side, where the use of Free Software and open standards has been increasing steadily since 2003 in the EP.

Paridans does not consider the lock-in effect of the use of proprietary formats, specially when communicating with citizens, disregarding, for example, the lock-in effect of the exclusive use of WMF in EP’s webTV streaming.

All in all these documents seem to point in the right direction, but much needs to be done, specially in the communication between European institutions and civil society.

[4] (dead link…)


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