The French Secretary of State in charge of Digital Affairs was speaking at Paris Open Source Summit last week. “Things have changed. I believe that this government can be credited with being the one that has carried more than ever the stake of the Open in our country”, said Axelle Lemaire, France’s Secretary of State in charge of Digital Affairs, at the Paris Open Source Summit 2016, last week The conference , originally dedicated to open source software,now also includes open data, open government and open innovation. The French open source ecosystem is part of a wider topic which Axelle Lemaire called “Open”. As “innovators”, the open source community plays a key role in this open culture in France, she explained. “The figures speak for themselves. The sector, from an economic and industrial point of view, is doing well and is healthy “, she added. She responded to figures released by the National Council for Free Software (Conseil National du Logiciel Libre). This organisation announced that the free software market in France should increase by 15% in 2016, more than was expected earlier. “Raise an awareness around free software” In her keynote, France’s Secretary of State explained that free software is now part of country’s ‘Digital law’ (loi pour une république numérique). “The debate has contributed to raise an awareness around free software. And in this sense, I am convinced that the topic has moved forward.” The Digital Law came into force last October. It is the result of a collaborative and a co-design process with the civil society. The free software community made a proposal to make free software a priority. But, this proposal was rejected. The Law mentions that free software usage is “encouraged”. At the Paris Open Source Summit , Axelle Lemaire said: “There is a huge focus on promotion, encouragement, obligation, priority to free software” Other parts of the text “set the objectives of the purchase of computer hardware”, she said. “The goal is autonomy. When an administration buys software, it must now consider the sustainability of the purchase, its reliance on service providers, its ability to manage the tool independently.” “The challenge is internal: convincing CIOs is a daily work carried out by DINSIC (the State’s IT department), which animates the developer community of free software. It is a matter of training, skill development and quality”, she concluded.