Public sector should use open standards

OSOR.euThe Commissioner-designate Neelie Kroes wants the public sector to increase its use of open standards, she said in her appearance before a European Parliament committee on 14 January.

“Digital society depends on open standards and interoperability, and with this in mind, public organisations must practise what they promote. If they don’t use open standards, why should citizens? I will pursue this from local authorities up to the European institutions.”

“If public date such as maps, weather information and health advise is not interoperable, how can it be exploited in new ways? And for such reasons, I want to explore new ways to develop ICT standards in Europe.”

The push for open standards is one of several plans that the Commissioner-designate outlined to the parliament. She also wants to increase investments in ICT and said she aims to create a single on-line European market.

Kroes is currently the EU’s Competition Commissioner. She is nominated for a new post as Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. The European Parliament will vote on the new European Commission on 26 January.

Open standards are closely linked to open source software, as they are the only standards available to the developers of this type of software. In a presentation in 2009 on the French Gendarmerie’s migration to a complete open source desktop system, Lieutenant-Colonel Xavier Guimard said the Gendarmerie found that open source is usually better at handling open standards than proprietary applications.

Article was originally published at the Open Source Observatory & Repository Europe.

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