On October 21st, the European Commission approved its new Open Source Software Strategy 2020-2023 of the Commission. This is an important step towards achieving the goals of the overarching Digital Strategy of the Commission and contributing to the Digital Europe programme.
The internal strategy, under the theme ‘’Think Open’’, sets out a vision for encouraging and leveraging the transformative, innovative and collaborative power of open source, its principles and development practices. It promotes the sharing and reuse of software solutions, knowledge and expertise, to deliver better European services that benefit society and lower costs to that society. The Commission commits to increasing its use of open source not only in practical areas such as IT, but also in areas where it can be strategic.
The strategy recognises the importance of collaboration across the Commission, with Member States, companies and the public at large for building new, innovative digital solutions that work across borders and towards technological sovereignty.
The new open source software strategy is a practical instrument for the digital transformation of the Commission. It is also an important enabler for innovation that will equip us with the knowledge to create a better and even more inclusive digital environment within and beyond our organisation.’’ said Mario Campolargo, acting Director-General of DG Informatics.
The key objectives of the new strategy are to enable the Commission to:
- Progress towards digital autonomy of Europe’s own, independent digital approach;
- Implement the European Commission Digital Strategy;
- Encourage sharing and reuse of software and applications, as well as data, information and knowledge;
- Contribute to the knowledge society by sharing the Commission’s source code;
- Build a world-class public service;
The implementation of the strategy will be guided by 6 principles: think open, transform, share, contribute, secure, stay in control. In practice, the Commission aims to reinforce an internal working culture that is already largely based on the principles of open source. The Commission will undertake a number of actions to achieve the goals of the strategy such as: creating open source innovation labs, removing the administrative burden for publication of software as open source, developing open source software skills and recruiting talent as well as increasing its outreach to communities.
The strategy reaffirms the Commission’s increased involvement with open source,” said Thomas Gageik, Director of Digital Business Solutions of DG Informatics. “Openness is the fundamental driver of innovation. Open source is one part – encouraging smart minds to work together and solve complex problems with unexpected solutions.