France's free software advocacy group April has launched a campaign to get candidates for the European elections of 22 - 25 May 2014 to state their support for these type of software solutions. The Free Software Pact campaign is Europe-wide and the group is inviting free and open source enthusiasts to help contact as many candidates as possible.
April's campaign was launched on Friday 31 January.
By signing the Free Software Pact candidates announce to voters that they support the development and use of free software. Signatories also pledge to defend free software, for example by voting against legislation if that is barring this type of solutions. "The Free Software Pact is a tool for those involved in free software", explains Jeanne Tadeusz, April's public affairs officer. "They can use it to explain the importance of free software, and engage with their candidates. The documents also help make clear why candidates should protect Europe's free software community."
At the 2014 elections for the European Parliament, 751 candidates will be elected to represent over 500 million citizens in the EU's 28 member states.
April has organised similar campaigns since 2007. In the first year, the advocacy group managed to get the four leading French presidential candidates to make statements on free software, and published these on its candidats.fr website. In 2009, April joined forces with the Italian free software association Assoli, Spain's Hispalinux and free software enthusiasts all over Europe to make the first Free Software Pact campaign happen. In 2012, the campaign focussed on France's National Assembly and the Presidential elections. The Free Software Pact will this year also be used to approach candidates for the municipal elections of 23 and 30 March.