The EU Commission is known for its strong take on privacy and open-source. A year ago, they asked their staff to use Signal for messaging instead of WhatsApp.
Now, they plan to make their software solutions publicly accessible for the benefit of society. In other words, anything that the EU uses for its internal work will be made open-source.
Public Money, Public Code
Considering that the taxpayers pay for the operations and fund the software, the code should also be available to the public.
This campaign with the idea of enhancing transparency has existed for several years now.
And, the European Commission seems to be respecting the idea, which is a good sign that should encourage other official organizations funded by public money to step up with the same initiative.
Not just limited to that, the EU also realizes that investing in open-source gives higher returns, based on their recent study.
The Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, shared a statement regarding the benefits of open-source in the press release:
“Open source offers great advantages in a domain where the EU can have a leading role. The new rules will increase transparency and help the Commission, as well as citizens, companies and public services across Europe, benefit from open source software development. Pooling of efforts to improve the software and the co-creation of new features lowers costs for the society, as we also benefit from the improvements made by other developers. This can also enhance security as external and independent specialists check software for bugs and security flaws.”
Of course, the promotion of open-source should accelerate innovation, security benefits and help various citizens and companies who can use it for their use-cases.
To give a few instances, the EU mentioned two tools that would come in handy when open-sourced:
- eSignature: A tool that help public administrations and businesses to accelerate the creation and verification of electronic signatures that are legally valid in all EU Member States.
- LEOS, (Legislation Editing Open Software): A software to draft legal texts.
Where Can You Find the Open-Source Software?
They plan to make all the software available in a single repository after ensuring that they do not have any significant flaws.
Furthermore, after this decision, the EU will allow the software developers of the EU to contribute to other open-source projects.
And many further advancements to follow, as one would expect.
It wasn’t long ago that a German state decided to switch to Linux, and now the EU commission encouraging open-source software is just more good news to the open-source ecosystem.
So, what do you think of this move? You are welcome to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.