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OFE welcomes continued emphasis on openness in EIF

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The OpenForum Europe (OFE) think tank welcomes the publication of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). This document continues to emphasise the importance of openness, the organisation writes on its blog.
An open framework

OFE likes the new version, the organisation writes on 10 April. “This document is very clearly structured, and most recommendations are logical conclusions of the reasoning in the text.”

Earlier positive feedback came via Twitter. For example, Linda Humphries‏, until March last year a key UK government official working on open standards, tweeted on 24 March: “Liking preference for Royalty Free open standards, usable in both open source and proprietary software EIF.”

The EIF makes several references to open source. The first one:

“The use of open source software technologies and products can help save development cost, avoid a lock-in effect and allow fast adaptation to specific business needs because the developer communities that support them are constantly adapting them. Public administrations should not only use open source software but whenever possible contribute to the pertinent developer communities. Open source is an enabler of the underlying EIF principle on reusability.”

This then results in Recommendation 3: “Ensure a level playing field for open source software and demonstrate active and fair consideration of using open source software, taking into account the total cost of ownership of the solution.”

Guidance

The EIF was officially presented at the Digital Day, a conference in Rome, Italy, on 23 March. A press release by the European Commission quotes Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, as saying: "The new European Interoperability Framework gives specific guidance for setting up interoperable digital public services.”

The EIF aims to inspire European public administrations in their efforts to design and deliver seamless European public services to other public administrations, citizens and businesses which are, as much as possible, digital-by-default, cross-borderby-default and open-by-default. It also supports the design and updating of national interoperability plans, or national policies, strategies and guidelines promoting interoperability.

The EC published a first instance of the EIF in 2004 as a 'working document'. An amended version was published as part of the Commission Communication ''Towards interoperability for European public services" in 2010.

More information:

Comments on the EIF by OFE’s Karel De Vriendt
European Commission press release
EIF (PDF)
EIF brochure (PDF)