The 27 EU member states are committed to OSS

The 27 EU member states are committed to OSS

2020- 12- 23

Berlin Declaration for a more inclusive digital transformation in Europe

On 8 December (2020), the ministers responsible for digital transformation of the 27 European Union (EU) states members signed the Berlin Declaration, in which they pledge to contribute to a more inclusive and participatory digital transformation of society.

The Berlin Declaration was signed at the High-Level Conference EU2020, organized by the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in collaboration with the services of the European Commission and the European Union Informal Network of Chief Information Officers (CIOs), including representatives of several Member States responsible for digitization and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT).

The signatories agreed to work together for the digital transformation of governments and to implement a set of principles and actions by the end of 2024, namely:

  1. promoting  fundamental  rights  and  democratic  values  in  the  digital sphere;
  2. enhancing social participation and inclusion;
  3. fostering digital empowerment and digital literacy;
  4. strengthening trust through security in the digital sphere;
  5. strengthening Europe’s digital sovereignty and interoperability;
  6. creating value-based, human-centred AI systems for use in the public sector;
  7. fostering resilience and sustainability.    

Based on what was already established in the 2017 Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment, this advance in Berlin aims to contribute to a digital transformation of member states and society, reinforcing the European Union's participation and digital sovereignty.

ESOP welcomes these measures and in particular in paragraph 5, which states that the 27 signatory states must implement by 2024 “common standards, modular architectures and - where applicable - the use of open source technologies in the development and implementation of cross-border digital solutions”.

The Berlin Declaration also aims 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 also 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”.