A number of members of the European Parliament are about to start an informal cross party working group on ‘new media, free and open source software and open information society’. The intergroup is expected to begin in February, with the support of the European People’s Party (EPP), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (Alde) and the European Greens.
The working group is the result of a merger of two proposed intergroups, ‘New media’ and ‘Free software and open information society”.
The new intergroup was announced by French and Italian free and open source advocacy groups, April and Associazione per il Software Libero in a statement published on 8 January.
The intergroup is one result from an awareness campaign, the Free Software Pact, that the two advocacy groups organised prior to the elections for the European Parliament last summer, which aimed to raise the candidate’s awareness on free and open source software. Of all the candidates, 232 plegded to support this type of software. Of this group, 34 candidates from Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, were elected.
“The attention and commitment of many MEPs, including the signatories of our Free Software Pact, helps to cross this milestone to develop policies that promote the free software network neutrality and the sharing knowledge to build an open information society”, said Marco Ciurcina, president of the Associazione per il Software Libero in the joint statement. President of April, Benoît Sibaud, added: “This intergroup shows MEPs are increasingly aware of the importance of the information commons. This encourages us to continue to educate our elected representatives.”
“This intergroup shall be the preferred place in the EP to discuss the digital revolution” says Alix Cazenave, April spokesperson. “It is essential that it included free software as it is a unique asset for the EU’s competitiveness and the development of its knowledge society.”
Article was originally published at the Open Source Observatory & Repository Europe.