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Policy Advocacy Activities

As a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, Free Software Foundation Europe works to create general understanding and support for Free Software and Open Standards. The following activities are concrete actions that we take in the areas of public awareness, policy advocacy and legal support.

Since its foundation in 2001, the FSFE has been working every single day to further Free Software in Europe and beyond. With our concrete activities, based upon the three pillars of our work, we focus on protecting and extending user rights. Some of our actions run for many years, some are aimed at short-term developments, but all are part of our mission: empower users to control technology.

Another major part of our work consists of continuous engagement and background work. We are present at dozens of conferences per year, support and maintain an excellent community and provide it with helpful resources. Furthermore, we are a prominent contact point for all questions and enquiries around software freedom, Open Standards, and user rights.

We need political change to strengthen Free Software. Learn more about how we achieve this.

  • Logo of Public Money? Public Code!

    Public Money? Public Code!

    Why is software created using taxpayers' money not released as Free Software? We want legislation requiring that publicly financed software developed for the public sector be made publicly available under a Free and Open Source Software licence. If it is public money, it should be public code as well. Code paid by the people should be available to the people!

  • Logo of Router Freedom

    Router Freedom

    It should go without saying that in our society we should be able to freely choose technical devices for use in our homes. But some Internet service providers in Europe dishonor this principle by dictating which device their customers have to use in order to connect to the internet, or they discriminate against the owners of alternative devices. This undermining of our basic freedom of choice is strongly opposed by the FSFE and many other organisations, projects, and individuals. Router Freedom is not merely a topic for experts. It affects all of us.

  • Logo of Radio Lockdown Directive

    Radio Lockdown Directive

    An EU regulation may make it impossible to install a custom piece of software on most radio devices like WiFi routers, smartphones, and embedded devices. It requires hardware manufacturers to implement a barrier that disallows users to install any software which has not been certified by them. We are working to avoid the expected negative implications on user rights and Free Software, security, fair competition, the environment, and charitable community initiatives.

  • Logo of Electoral Activities

    Electoral Activities

    What better time is there to ask politicians about their stance on Free Software and Open Standards than in the time before an election? We believe that we can and should make these topics an issue in all elections, be it on a European, national, regional, or local level. Depending on the electoral system and culture, there are different strategies and tools we use: Ask Your Candidates a set of questions, the Digital-O-Mat online tool, the Freedomvote online platform, and the Let's Promise pledges.

More Policy Activities

  • Software Patents in Europe

    We are working towards a world where software does what software users want it to do. For this, software users must be able to participate in the development and distribution of the software. Software patents block this goal by adding legal and financial risks to software development and distribution and by giving the patent holders legal power to completely prohibit software developers from using the patented ideas.

  • PDFreaders

    With the PDFreaders campaign we turn the spotlight on government organisations who advertise proprietary PDF readers, exposing how frequent such advertisements for non-free software are. With the help of activists across Europe, we contacted these organisations and explained to them how to improve their websites so that they respect our freedom. On pdfreaders.org we present Free Software PDF readers for all major operating systems.

  • Microsoft vs. EU Antitrust CaseFinished

    In 2001 the European Union started investigating Microsoft's dominant position in the market for desktop operating systems. The FSFE played two key roles in this case. First, we represented the interests of Free Software developers. Second, we are a public interest organisation who cannot be bought off. Thanks to the excellent work by all involved parties, the case has been won in all rulings up to the European Court of Justice in 2012.

  • Unlock Education in the NetherlandsFinished

    We want to enable all citizens to have free access to education and all other public institutions, both online and offline. We wish to achieve this by pushing for a mandatory use of Open Standards and guaranteed platform-independent access to all materials required in the public educational system. This allows students and parents to use Free Software, enabling them to tap into their potential for personal growth and development, without being made dependent of a company. This activity was specifically aimed at the Dutch education sector.

  • 7th EC Framework Programme (FP7)Finished

    The European Commission funds research and development through official framework programmes (FP for short). From 2007 these framework programmes have been used to select projects for support until 2013. The FSFE played a central role in supported projects related to Free Software.

  • Forum de la Gouvernance Internet (IGF)Finished

    Le Forum de la Gouvernance Internet (IGF) est un forum de discussion des politiques globales au sein des Nations Unies, établi lors du Sommet Mondial de la Société de l'Information (WSIS) des Nations Unies. La FSFE suit les travauxde l'IGF pour s'assurer que les discussions politiques en cours ne mettent pas en danger les libertés numériques en général et le Logiciel Libre en particulier.

  • MS-OOXMLFinished

    Since the very beginning of the standardisation process for Microsoft's Office Open XML - OOXML (hereinafter MS-OOXML), the FSFE has expressed serious doubts about whether MS-OOXML could be considered as open, if even, as a standard at all. The FSFE first raised the issue in the community and led the movement against the standardisation of MS-OOXML, following closely over the years the relevant developments.

  • IPRED2Finished

    Une seconde directive portant sur l'application des "droits à la propriété intellectuelle" a été proposée par la Commission Européenne. Elle vise à criminaliser toutes les infractions "intentionnelles" ou à une "échelle commerciale", et à donner le droit aux détenteurs des droits de participer aux enquêtes. La FSFE va démontrer aux institutions européennes comment une telle loi peut encourager les abus du système judiciaire et avoir un effet négatif sur certaines activités pourtant légales.

  • Organisation Mondiale de la Propriété IntellectuelleFinished

    L'Organisation Mondiale de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OMPI) est l'une des 16 institutions spécialisées du système des Nations Unies. Son rôle est d'administrer les 24 traités internationaux ayant trait aux différents aspects de la propriété intellectuelle. En tant qu'observateur de l'OMPI et en union avec une coalition mondiale d'autres acteurs aux buts similaires, la FSFE travaille à remodeler cette institution en une "Organisation Mondiale de la Richesse Intellectuelle" ("World Intellectual Wealth Organisation.")

  • Le Sommet Mondial sur la Société de l'Information (SMSI)Finished

    Le Sommet Mondial sur la Société de l'Information (SMSI) est une conférence de l'ONU, organisée par l'ITU (International Telecommunication Union), au cours de laquelle devraient être posées d'importantes pierres angulaires pour la société de l'information et de la connaissance. La FSFE participera, avec d'autres sociétés civiles, pour s'assurer que les principes de l'ère numérique ne soient pas déterminés seulement par l'industrie des médias et les gouvernements, et que les droits de l'homme ne seront pas invalidés techniquement.

  • 6th EC Framework Programme (FP6)Finished

    Founding of research&development by the European Commission is usually done within the "framework programmes" (FPs). These last for four years and FP6 has started officially on December 17th, 2002. The FSFE seeked to help with Free Software related activities in FP6.

  • Classification of Free Software as a World Cultural HeritageFinished

    The objectives were to have Free Software classified as an intangible world cultural heritage by the UNESCO, and registered in the World Memory Register (another UNESCO project). The Free Software community and the UNESCO share the same freedom, equality and fraternity values. Such a recognition would be a great promotion of Free Software.

  • EUCD - Copyright extensions that harmFinished

    The European Copyright Directive (EUCD) was the European equivalent of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). These laws not only lead to the creation of monopolies and cartels, they also provide serious impediments to the Freedoms of speech and press, as they provide means for digital censorship. The FSFE was actively involved in the resistance against such harmful legislation.