OSC calls on MEPs to adopt the EIF

EU Insignia

The Open Source Consortium calls on MEPs to adopt the European Interoperability Framework.

OSC Members, and others, who wish the use of information technology to be improved throughout Europe should write to their MEP candidates inviting them to support the European Interoperability Framework.

The current situation with ICT

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has become a critical part of European infrastructure; a modern economy cannot function without it.

Optimal choices in ICT need a European policy on interoperability in ICT.

Many European and national ICT systems have been implemented using software which does not enable easy interoperability, and instead creates an effect where it becomes easier, and some cases necessary, to choose more of the same supplier’s products, and harder to choose competing products.

Moreover, once governments or local administrations have decided to use software that does not enable easy interoperability, that choice imposes a requirement for the citizen or customer to choose the same software.

This network effect prevents choice, competition and limits opportunities to promote innovation outside vendor control, in the whole European arena for ICT.

Advantages of adopting the European Interoperability Framework

Interoperability means it does not matter how you mix and match the constituent parts of ICT, they will just work with each other without problems or issues. Such choice also means that users of your ICT systems (e.g., users of European or national government on-line services) do not have to make ICT choices based on anyobody’s particular decisions, e.g., having to use a specific web browser (that itself may require a specific operating system).

The (draft) EIF V2 (http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/7728) will halt and eventually reverse the current situation, where interoperability has not been diligently specified.

Although this draft has been criticised by vendors currently benefiting from the current uneven playing field, its adoption would not prevent any vendor, current or future, from supplying ICT to European or national governments.

OSC Members should write to their MEP candidates inviting them to support the European Interoperability Framework. A draft letter can use this article as a starting point but, as always, writing your own text is far preferable because it shows that you personally have thought about the issues, so your views will carry more weight.