Spotlight: the EC’s software development policy

Published on: 15/02/2017

‘Wherever possible, open source to be the preferred choice’

European Member States’ public administrations wondering what more they can do with software that is developed for them should take a look at the internal policy of the European Commission. If the software can be useful to others, the EC’s Open Source Policy stipulates that the source code should be made public as open source.

The European Commission's Open Source Software Strategy 2014 - 2017

From the Open Source Software Strategy 2014-2017:

4. For the internal development of new information systems, in particular where deployment is foreseen by third parties outside the EC infrastructure, open source software shall be the preferred choice and used whenever possible.

The EC aims to develop interoperable software solutions that use open technical specifications, the policy adds. The source code is made available on the Joinup eGovernment collaboration platform (where this post is published) and the EC uses the European Union Public License (EUPL).

Share and reuse

Examples of such software solutions include:

  • EUSurvey - a multilingual online survey management system built for the creation and publication of surveys and public consultations;
  • Open eTrustEx - for the secure exchange of digital structured and unstructured documents, and
  • Open e-PRIOR - the EC’s eProcurement solution.


In addition, the building blocks, components and modules related to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) are also made available as open source. True to form, the source code of Joinup itself is also available on Joinup.

Examples of policies and initiatives by European public administrations on the sharing and re-use of software can be found here, and here.

More information:

The European Commission’s Open Source Strategy
Report on Policies and Initiatives on Sharing and Re-use
Open Source Observatory Annual Report 2016

Nature of documentation: Policy/Strategy papers


Type of document