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EC Commissioner Kroes supports ODF campaign

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European Commissioner and Vice President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes supports the FixMyDocuments campaign that is urging Europe's public administrations to make better use of open document formats. The campaigners aim to get public administrations to publish their documents in open formats that can be read and manipulated by anyone, without imposing the use of software from any particular vendor. The campaigners are pushing the authorities to use the Open Document Format (ODF).

The campaign started on Monday.

In her statement of support for the campaign, European Commission Vice-President Kroes says: "When open alternatives are available, no citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to use a particular company's technology to access government information. No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first. I know a smart business decision when I see one – choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed."

The FixMyDocuments campaign site allows anyone to "report web pages that fail to make editable documents that are intended for collaboration available or accept submissions in ODF, when such documents are coming from or received by administrations that have committed to do so." Campaigners include the Free Software Foundation Europe, France's free software advocacy group April and OpenForum Europe, an organisation advocating the use of open standards in ICT. In a press release, OFE explains the campaigners will contact public administrations, and check and track progress on the administrations' compliance.

Standardisation policy

The site was unveiled including a pre-compiled list of European Commission web sites where open document formats were not available. Examples include the EC's press releases, documents of the ICT Standardisation policy multi-stakeholder platform on CIRCABC (not accessible to the general public), websites of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

On Tuesday afternoon, the campaigners announced that the first new EU site had been reported. The link points to the installation manual of the Joinup collaboration platform - only available in a non-ISO standard document format.

A June 2014 case study published by the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) - part of Joinup - shows ODF is the only ISO document standard that "is vendor-neutral, open and reliable across a span of years and software versions, and supported by a variety of software products."

 

More information:

FixMyDocuments campaign site
Campaign press announcement
Digital Agenda for Europe
OSOR case study