Industry in France and Germany should embrace open source, the governments of both countries say in the closing statement of the German-French digital conference in Berlin on 13 December. Open source is a key driver for digital innovation, the countries say.
The conference involved business representatives and politicians, including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Francois Hollande, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel and his French colleague Michel Sapin. Germany and France want to boost the digital transformation of their economies and industry, the two countries say.
Article 8 in Part III of the joint declaration on ‘Innovation and new technology’, reads, in French:
Le logiciel libre est un moteur puissant en faveur de l’innovation. L’Allemagne et la France veilleront à ce que leurs industries tirent le plus grand bénéfice possible du logiciel libre.
The same statement, in German:
Open-Source-Software ist ein entscheidender Treiber für Innovation. Deutschland und Frankreich werden gemeinsam daran arbeiten, dass ihre Industrien größere Vorteile aus Open-Source-Software ziehen können.
Advanced and original
France’s Conseil National du Logiciel Libre (CNLL), a trade group advocating free software and representing over three hundred ICT firms, is ‘particularly pleased’ with the statement, says CNLL co-President Stéfane Fermigier. “It links free software to innovation, a link that was contested by some opponents up to a few years ago.” Since 2015, innovation and open source have been the main themes of the Paris Open Source Summit, an annual conference that CNLL helps organise.
Encouraging free software and open standards to bring about the digital transformation of the economy and create our future industry, is closely linked to France’s policies to encourage its public administrations to use free software and open formats, Fermigier commented by email.
Germany’s Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA) trade group is equally exited about “the commitment to open source articulated by the French and German governments”, says OSBA chairman Peter Ganten. The emphasise on open source is wise, he adds. “If it leads to reasonable measures, it will be key for the future success of Europe’s IT industry.”