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Hamburg wants to focus more on Free Software


In Hamburg, the SPD and the Greens are stating in their coalition agreement to focus more on Free Software during their future term. The FSFE welcomes this step and will critically monitor its implementation.

In order to strengthen digital sovereignty of Hamburg, the city wants to use more Free Software in the future (see the PDF of the coalition agreement). The goal is to minimise the dependence on individual providers and create transparency. Wherever it appears meaningful, cooperation with other administrations should be established. However, the coalition agreement contains several loopholes, for example for procurement procedures and diffuse justification to protect proprietary software vendors.

Alexander Sander, the FSFE's Policy Manager, explains: "We are pleased that Hamburg has recognised the problems associated with the use of proprietary software and wants to focus more on the use of Free Software. However, the exceptions in the coalition agreement indicate at this point in time that the implementation could lead to problems and counteracting the goals. We will critically monitor the process and demand that first steps be taken quickly to make software developed with public money available to the general public. If it is public money, it should be public code as well."

Free Software gives everyone the right to use, understand, distribute and improve software for any purpose. Administrations also benefit from these freedoms when they rely on Free Software. More and more administrations all over Europe are using and developing Free Software in order to benefit from interoperable solutions, to avoid vendor lock ins, to be transparent and sovereign, to spend funds in the most efficient way and to foster innovation and collaboration.

As part of the "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign, FSFE is specifically campaigning for a change in policy towards Free Software. The "Public Money? Public Code!" initiative aims to set Free Software as the standard for publicly financed software. The Free Software Foundation Europe together with over 180 civil society organisations and more than 27.000 individuals signed the open letter. We will use the signatures to contact decision makers and political representatives all over Europe and convince them to make public code the standard. You are invited to add your signature to make a bigger impact on publiccode.eu/