Interoperable Europe Act adopted, close monitoring vital
Today the Interoperable Europe Act has been adopted in plenary with 524 votes in favour, 18 against and 97 abstentions. Although some of the potential of the regulation got undermined, the Act as a whole is an important opportunity for Free Software and its community to contribute to an interoperable Europe. The FSFE will closely monitor its implementation.
Interoperability stands as a cornerstone in the establishment of a seamlessly connected and digitalized infrastructure. Through the Interoperable Europe Act, the EU is aiming to enhance interoperability in cross-border digital public services. The FSFE has urged decision makers to recognise the crucial role of Free Software and the expertise of its community in achieving this goal in this regulation. As with our Public Money? Pubic Code! Initiative, we have demanded decision makers to acknowledge the role of Free Software in fostering digital European public administrations while having control and sovereignty over the software they are using and making sure that public funds are spent in the most efficient way.
In spite of our efforts to integrate the Free Software community into the decision making power body, the Interoperable Europe Board, decision makers have opted to involve this community solely within the Interoperable Europe Community. While this allows the community to provide expertise, it underscores the importance of closely monitoring the implementation of this regulation. Such monitoring helps identify opportune moments for civil society, including the Free Software community, to contribute effectively.
Beyond these limitations and some ambiguities in the wording in many parts of the text (see Interoperable Europe Act: an ambition that turned out to be watered-down), we welcome that decision makers have heard some of our demands. We managed to include provisions mandating the European Commission to provide an annual report on the development of Free Software interoperability solutions for public services, while including requirements to set up actions in support of Free Software interoperability solutions. These actions will be instrumental in assessing the Act’s success in prioritising the use of Free Software and will help us to keep being a watchdog on the matter.
With the text now finalised, the most crucial phase of the regulation begins - its implementation. We will monitor the implementation to make sure that Free Software reaches its full potential as an enabler of transparent, reusable and shareable solutions. We will also keep a close watch for opportunities where the Free Software community can engage and by providing its expertise support public administrations throughout the EU in delivering Free Software interoperable digital services states Lina Ceballos, FSFE Policy Project Manager.