ESOP Associate Meeting | OSS European Strategy
On December 10, ESOP held another Online Associates Meeting. This time with the aim of discussing the European Strategy for Open Source. The themes were presented by ESOP Vice-President Paulo Ribeiro, who started by presenting APELL and then the European Commission's Strategy for Open Source and the Berlin Declaration.
APELL (Association Professionnelle Européenne du Logiciel Libre) had already been announced in early 2020 and presented at the last ESOP General Assembly, but it was only recently formally constituted and registered in Belgium. It is an association that brings together European national associations that, like ESOP, represent companies dedicated to Open Source. It aims to represent these associations and their members in the European institutions and to contribute to the construction of European policies and in member states that are friends with Open Source and the development of the European digital agenda industry based on Open Source. APELL contemplates two types of members: Full Voting Members, full members, with the right to vote at the General Assembly and the election of a representative to the APELL Board, which represents an annual cost of € 1,500.00; and Associate Members: who can participate in the General Assembly, but without the right to vote and which have an annual cost of € 500.00. The founding members are from Germany (OSBA), France (CNLL) and Finland (COSS).
The Open Source Software Strategy 2020-2023 of the European Commission was announced on October 21, with the aim of enhancing the reuse and sharing of solutions, knowledge and experiences, increasing the use of open source technologies at the European Commission.
On the other hand, the Berlin Declaration signed on December 8 by the ministers responsible for government digitization of the 27 member states, represents a commitment made by member states to contribute to a more inclusive and participatory digital transformation of society.
The Berlin Declaration provides (under point 5 - Digital sovereignty and interoperability, part I - Principles) that the 27 signatory States will implement by 2024, “common standards, modular architectures and - where applicable - the use of open source technologies in the development and implementation cross-border digital solutions. ” It also foresees that the EU institutions, together with their member states, support innovative public-private cooperation, GovTech, and promote the development, sharing and reuse of open source standards, solutions and specifications between member states.
In addition, it urges the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU to support, promote and extend these principles and objectives to a declaration that “constitutes a common understanding of the legal values that underpin a digital society”.