The Free Software Foundation Europe says the German CDU/CSU and SPD coalition agreement could use more emphasis on free software and open standards. On Wednesday, the group published its review of the agreement, a few days ahead of the vote by the members of the SPD, who are asked to accept or reject the document tomorrow. "Only by promoting free software, can freedom, security and competition be combined for a digital society", the FSFE writes.
Matthias Kirschner, FSFE Vice President: "The coalition missed the opportunity to formulate clear means towards free software. This will make it much harder for them to actually achieve their goal, IT sovereignty.
The group points out that the coalition only wants to considers free software, instead of clearly prioritising it during procurement and for development of ICT solutions of public administrations. This contradicts the coalition's aim to increase IT security and interoperability, the group says. "What are the coalition's arguments against prioritising free software?"
"Ambitious projects, including the nationwide citizens alert system and the centralisation of federal IT avoiding vendor lock-in, lack the ultimate consequence that they can be implemented platform independent only with free software. What are reasons against publishing publicly funded software under a free license?"
The advocacy group also wonders why the final text only describes open standards, in contrast with the earlier draft text, where they were mentioned as such. Open standards are a fundamental requirement for many of the coalition's good ideas, the group writes, such as the plea for open access in education.
The group notes how Germany is dragging its feet when it comes to free and open source. It is falling behind other EU member states, including France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands.