The state of free software in the Union

Gijs Hillenius

1 Introduction

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes:

"I know a smart business decision when I see one"

Competition Commissioner: 'EC must not accept closed standards'

Peter de Beijer, Dutch police force:

"The technologies are open. We are all performing the same tasks, we
want to share and re-use and that is why we only consider open source

'Open source only' at Dutch police Internet forensics

1.1 Overview

The BIG trends

Give lots of examples

First: thanks, EPFSUG!

About me, OSOR and Joinup

2 The big trends

Public administrations increasingly use free and open source

Major Stéphane Dumond (Gendarmerie, France): "Using an open source
desktop lowers the total cost of ownership by 40%, in savings on
proprietary software licences and by reducing costs on IT management."

French Gendarmerie: "Open source desktop lowers TCO by 40%"

Per Clausen (member of parliament, Denmark): "Our view is that we
should choose a single standard. We could leave that decision to the
market, but our textbooks also say that the state should intervene
when that market develops in the direction of monopoly."

Danish state administrations to use ODF

2.1 Public administrations are using open source

for everything, everywhere

  • content management
  • document management
  • database applications
  • e-government services
  • citizen participation
  • geo-information systems
  • open data
  • software development

and across all sectors

(see below)

Open source is everywhere

In the EU's institutions

European parliament releases its amendment software as open source

EC recommends supporting open document format

Two hundred ways to switch an EC Directorate to open source

Open source to formalise European railway specifications

Open source software assists European citizens to petition the EU

EUPL and CeCILL become compatible

Circabc 3.6 now available on Joinup

Open e-PRIOR pre-award version released

Commission tailors GNU/Linux server specialised in blogs

Open source is everywhere

In ministries

French Interior ministry: open source 5 to 10 times cheaper

Finland's ministry of Justice migrates to OpenOffice

German development ministry recommends open source to SMEs

Polish Economy ministry makes consultation site open source

Spain's Finance ministry offers open source email cloud service

Norway local gov ministry uses open source version control system

Estonian ministry saves millions by using open source

Open source is everywhere

In many towns, small and large

Germany's Munich

Spanish cities Zaragoza, Bilbao and Badajoz

Portugal's Vieira do Minho

Denmark's second-largest city Ã…rhus

Dutch city of Ede

Towns of Grygov and Jihlava in the Czech Republic

Villages of Arles, Voreppe and many others in France

Poland's Poznan

Italy's Bologna

Open source is everywhere

Across all sectors, including


More and more Linux in Riga children hospital

Hospitals eyeing open source patient record system

Hospital in Porto to switch 3000 PCs to open source office suite

Danish hospital: "Hassle free use of ODF across competing office suites"

Rotterdam hospital selects open source for internal ordering system

Open source is everywhere

Across all sectors, including


such as a Greek kindergarten switched to Ubuntu Linux

Or schools in Austria

And the Westcliff High School for Girls Academy in the UK

WHSG school's Network Manager, Malcolm Moore:

"this school specialises in science and engineering and if our
 students are to go on to do great things like start the next Google
 or collapse the universe at CERN... they will certainly need to know

Open source is everywhere

Across all sectors, including


Open source advancing at Dutch defence ministry

Polish Defence Ministry moving to open source email and groupware

NATO makes ODF one of its mandatory standards

Ministry of Defense to switch to Pardus GNU/Linux

Russian government to invest in open source desktop

2.2 First problem: The desktop.

Even the EC admits it is locked-in.

Open office choices grip multiple languages

Do as I say, not as I do.

2.2.1 Second problem: Procurement.

MEP Andersdotter: 'EC procurement practice blocks European firms'

EC calls for use of ICT standards to battle IT vendor lock-in

EC considering hotline for procurement errors

'Discriminatory procurement specifications widespread'

Openforum Europe: Procurement law fails to address discriminatory practices

must hear Procuring software by mentioning brand names

must read Issues in open source procurement in the European public sector I

3 Top three most visible open source implementations

1. French Gendarmerie

72,000 Ubuntu Linux & LibreOffice desktops, per this summer

Major Stéphane Dumond (Gendarmerie, France): "It is possible to deploy
thousands of Linux desktops. We did"

French Gendarmerie: "Open source desktop lowers TCO by 40%"

2. The government of Spain's Exremadura autonomous region

42,000 Ubuntu Linux desktops, eventually

Manuel Velardo (Cenatic, Spain): "Young CIOs are more used to open
source than older ones."

Issues in open source procurement in the European public sector II

3. The city administration of Munich

14,800 Ubuntu Linux and LibreOffice desktops, now

Christian Ude (Mayor of Munich, Germany) ... Gates asked: “Mr. Ude, why are you
doing this?”. Ude replied: “To gain freedom.” Gates: “Freedom from
what?”  Ude: “Freedom from you, Mr. Gates.”

LiMux - the IT evolution

4 Five striking examples

4.1 'All Is Not Well'

5 Policies on Sharing and Re-Use

ISA Report on Policies and Initiatives on Sharing and Re-use shows

All EU member states address sharing and re-use

About half of them have legislation

  • by listing standards or
  • with a policy on sharing and re-use of software

5.1 Policy examples

*Report on Policies and Initiatives on Sharing and Re-use*

Italy Code of Digital Administration, December 2013

Spain eGovernment Law (Law 11/2007)

Basque country Openness and Reuse of Applications of Public Administration of Basque Country Decree, July 2012

France Ayrault memorandum, September 2012

United Kingdom Cabinet Office standards hub

Netherlands Standardisation Board and Forum

EU: DAE #23 Against lock-in

6 Famous last words

The European Commission says:

"Many organisations are locked into their ICT systems, so that when
they need to buy new components or licenses there are only few
potential suppliers (or even just a single one).
This lack of competition leads to higher prices and some 1.1 billion
euro per year is lost unnecessarily in the public sector alone.

7 Thanks

Courtesy to:

The powerful Emacs Org-mode

and the

impressive Reveal.js