Response on EIS

Response on EIS

The Open Source Consortium (OSC) has welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Consultation on proposals for the European Interoperability Strategy.

The statement in the current consultation does not go far enough and without further elaboration is in danger of allowing i2010 (the EU policy framework for the information society and media) to be undermined. …

  • For any standard to be used for purposes of interoperability and European Public Services, it should be freely implementable by anyone without need to seek permission from anyone else nor pay for the use of that standard.
  • Anything that governments do, whether they get it right or get it wrong, is going to affect every aspect of the citizen’s or business’s use of ICT.
  • Getting it wrong includes influencing or imposing ICT vendor choices on the citizen or business.
  • Problems arising from a defective approach to interoperability have a long and international history.
  • We cannot spend the next decade unpicking the outcomes of a failure to properly implement interoperability with its attendant problems and the need for repeated remedial action.

Without a stronger commitment to real interoperability, the other advantages of the programme will become impossible to achieve, as access to on-line services will remain vendor bestowed and controlled to the endpoint of denied access and avoidable deadweight costs and other market inefficiencies.

Interoperability is a crucial facet of European Public Services and any strategy adopted should reject convenient or short term solutions based on single vendor promises in favour of the tougher but ultimately more beneficial multi-vendor multi-provider implementations of open, unencumbered freely implementable international standards.

Gerry Gavigan
Open Source Consortium

The full text of the response is here (PDF).