2010. január 22., péntek

European Parliament To Restart The Workgroup On Open Source Software

A number of members of the European Parliament are about to start an informal cross-party working group on 'New Media, Free and Open Source Software and Open Information Society'. The intergroup is expected to begin in February 2010, with the support of the European People's Party (EPP), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (Alde) and the European Greens.

The working group is the result of a merger of two proposed intergroups, the 'New media' and the 'Free software and open information society'.

The new intergroup was announced in a statement published on 8 January 2010 by the French Association for promoting and protecting Free Software (April) and the Italian Association for Free Software (Associazione per il Software Libero).

The intergroup is the result of an awareness campaign, the Free Software Pact. This initiative was organised by the aforementioned advocacy groups prior to the elections for the European Parliament in June 2009 and aimed to raise candidates' awareness on free and open source software. 232 candidates pledged to support this type of software by signing the Pact and 34 elected candidates from Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom will seat in the European Parliament during the 2009-2014 legislature.

"The attention and commitment of many MEPs [Members of the European Parliament], including the signatories of our Free Software Pact, helps to cross this milestone to develop policies that promote the free software network neutrality and the sharing knowledge to build an open information society", said Marco Ciurcina, the President of the Italian Association for Free Software in a joint statement. The President of April, Benoît Sibaud, added: "This intergroup shows MEPs are increasingly aware of the importance of the information commons. This encourages us to continue to educate our elected representatives."

April's spokesperson, Alix Cazenave, also stated that "This intergroup shall be the preferred place in the EP to discuss the digital revolution" and added that "it is essential that it included free software as it is a unique asset for the EU's competitiveness and the development of its knowledge society."

Source: egovmonitor