On 3rd December, French Décret no. 2021-1559 of 1st December 2021 was published in the Official Gazette, Joinup, the EU’s public sector news site reports.

This decree makes the European Union Public Licence (EUPL) a “Legal Licence” for use by public sector organisations in France.

Before the approval of this decree, French public sector organisations who wanted to use the EUPL had to justify it individually in a long administrative process. Since the EUPL is a reciprocal licence stating that derivatives of the covered software must likewise also be distributed under the EUPL, this represented an additional barrier for sharing and reusing software between European institutions, France and the rest of EU.

French public sector organisations are major users and developers of free/open source software. It is estimated that some 1,000 have published about 9,000 free and open source projects.

In addition to the EUPL, the decree mentioned above also adds the Eclipse Public Licence to the French “legal” list. The Eclipse Public Licence is a free and open source software licence most notably used for the Eclipse IDE and other projects by the Eclipse Foundation, an independent, Canada-based not-for-profit corporation that acts as a steward of the Eclipse open source software development community.