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Archive for June, 2012

Feel free to become a member of the Facebook Lubuntu group. Lubuntu is the LXDE based lightweight flavour of Ubuntu. No knickknack, just a performant Linux desktop.

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Endspiel ACTA

ACTA moves closer to the plenary. Next week the Trade committee (INTA) of the Parliament would take its decision. Commissioner Karel De Gucht invited himself to the meeting, what is tried now is delaying the Parliament vote. MEP Moreira mocked that since De Gucht has to come whenever INTA calls, he also enjoys the right to appear when he desires. Commissioner De Gucht would appear before INTA on Thursday 21 June at 10h (Room 4 Q 1), just before the crucial vote.

Supported is the Commissioner by the British conservatives. MEP Kamall tabled an amendment to this end. The time-winning Amendment 3 would be in focus for the upcoming debate while other MEPs pressure to get the awkward dossier off the table. Two other amendments, by Quisthoudt-Rowohl (EPP) and Fjellner (EPP) change the recommendation to “Consents to conclusion of the agreement”, but that is an unlikely outcome given the votes of the assisting Committees.

Many of my colleagues would be in Brussels. I’ll also be around Brussels but for other reasons.

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In an article for European Voice Paul Meller of OFE lashes out at certain governments in the Council:

“However, national governments – in particular those from the EU’s largest countries, including France, Germany and the UK – do not. They want to introduce a layer of bureaucracy so cumbersome that it would deter even the most ardent tech-savvy civil servants from referencing one of these industry standards when they issue a call for tender”

Apparently some governments in the Council are unwilling to leave recognition of consortial ICT specifications to an EU committee driven by vendors and yield all powers concerning the recognition of consortial specifications for nothing in return. The better approach would be to raise the bar of course. Unfortunately the Commission proposal as well as the Comi report in parliament sets the bar for recognition very low. So low that it would be completely insignificant and all consortial specifications could be made to meet the criteria. The current approach translates into universal recognition. The article of Paul Meller is quite telling in that respect. He expects governments to limit themselves to an ‘advisory role’ in the selection committee and cast crocodile tears about the poor procurement officers. Let’s keep in mind that currently there is no official recognition of consortial ICT specifications at all but a lot of evaluation going on by public authorities, for instance SAGA in Germany. Governments should not yield their negotiation powers but use potential recognition as a leverage for better ICT specifications.

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