Brussels – EU IT and telecom ministers called for open standards and interoperability in government IT procurement during what was supposed to be a meeting in Granada, Spain. The statement was part of a broader Granada Declaration, after the city where ministers were supposed to meet this week. The meeting went on via teleconference as European airports shut down because of volcanic ash.
Public sector IT is a large part of the market in Europe and until now various governments have been locked into using major vendors. Those advocating for open standards say the language has been watered down, but others are praising this as a key step.
The following comments can be attributed to Erika Mann, who served as a member of the European Parliament until 2009 and worked on IP issues. Mann will be directing CCIA’s new Brussels office:
“The promotion of open standards and interoperability brings more innovation and savings as more government functions go online and more citizens and small and medium sized businesses use these eGovernment features. Citizens should be able to use competing products to access government information and not be required to use specific proprietary programs. Commissioner Kroes should be applauded for the declaration supporting open standards and interoperability and we look forward to seeing this fully adopted.”