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Free Software in Munich - FSFE thanks cabaret artist Christine Prayon


Yesterday, political satirist Christine Prayon was awarded the 10,000 Euro Dieter Hildebrandt Prize of the City of Munich for demanding political or decidedly socio-critical political satire. Prayon is donating the prize money to the Free Software Foundation Europe.

The jury states, among other things, that the award recipient Prayon "[...] does not simply accuse - she unmasks, and we are her witnesses". Prayon herself used her thank-you speech to put the finger on one of Munich's sore spots: Prayon describes the former genius, progressive process of making Munich independent of the providers of proprietary software and letting the complete administration run on a free system. Prayon then criticised the switch back to proprietary systems.

Christine Prayon

The migration of workstations back to proprietary software will cost Munich almost 50 million Euros over the next six years. A further 37 million Euros will have to be invested in implementation projects. The Free Software Foundation Europe already criticised the migration-project in the past. The migration will not solve existing organisational IT problems in the day-to-day administrative business. At the same time new dependencies on manufacturers of proprietary software will arise and license fees will be paid to the proprietary manufacturers instead of using these funds in tax payers' best interest for the further development of the software and the cooperation with other administrations. The systems become less transparent and no longer comprehensible for citizens. Further information on the migration plans of the City of Munich can be found here.

Munich is thus turning against the trend: in other administrations, Free Software is being used with overwhelming success. Since the French government decided to start using more Free Software back in 2012, between 0.6% and 5.4% more companies using Free Software have been created in France every year; between 6.6% and 14% more people find employment in the IT sector every year. In Barcelona, 70% of the budget for the development of new software is used to create Free Software. Contracts have so far been awarded to 3,000 companies, 60% of them SMEs, mostly from the region. In collaborative projects, more and more cities are working on common software solutions and jointly develop them, saving costs and sharing risks.

The Free Software Foundation Europe has launched the campaign "Public Money? Public Code!" to convince other administrations to switch to Free Software and support them in their migration. As part of the campaign, we published the specialist publication "Public Money Public Code - Modernising Public Infrastructure with Free Software". The brochure aims to answer questions from decision-makers about the benefits of using and developing Free Software for the public administration.

More information about the campaign and its supporters can be found on our campaign website at publiccode.eu, and the brochure can be found here.

The Free Software Foundation Europe would like to take this opportunity to thank Christine Prayon for her commitment to Free Software and her generous donation.

Update 24.05.2019: Christine Prayon's acceptance speech is also available as video recording now.