European Parliament logoJoinup, the EU’s open source public sector news website, reports today that the European Parliament’s Greens/EFA Group is urging the European Parliament to make an earnest attempt to using free and open source software. In a letter to EP President Martin Schulz (PDF), which was released last week Friday, the group links free software and open standards to the Parliament’s transparency obligations.

The text of the letter is reproduced below.


Thank you very much for your reply to our letter of 10 July 2013 regarding Free Software and Open Standards in the European Parliament, further to the Decision on discharge in respect of the implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the financial years 2010 and 2011.

We are very happy to have received the first, and ground-breaking, report on the matter, but we kindly remind you to ensure that the study is completed as well, as requested in the European Parliament resolutions of 10 May 2012 and 17 April 2013, on Parliament’s obligations, in particular under Rule 103 of its Rules of Procedure, with regard to Free Software and Open Standards.

We have commissioned a second opinion on the report to better understand how we can contribute to the Parliament’s efforts in this field. Please find it attached. The opinion concludes that a study on Parliament’s transparency obligations under Rule 103 vis-à-vis its ICT-policies would “result in recommendations to what extent the use of FOSS and open standards is critical to adhere to these principles as a whole”.

We believe that if, as the opinion suggests, these recommendations were to follow from the Rules of Procedure, it would serve the Parliament well to develop them.

Thank you for taking immediate action to remedy the situation.

Yours faithfully,

Rebecca Harms


Daniel Cohn-Bendit

Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament

No political organisation seems to be complete without a modicum of hypocrisy. In this instance, despite the Greens/EFA’s avowed espousal of free and open source software and open standards, readers may be interested to know that the PDF version of the letter was produced using the proprietary Nitro Pro PDF production software, which runs exclusively on the Windows operating system. 😉