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Recently I stumbled upon a footnote in an old IDABC presentation, then had a look at the Commission registers with the reference and found a document from the Commission that was not made public yet.

C(2006)7108/1 22/12/2006 Enterprise and Industry Draft Commission Decision concerning the use of an open source software licence related to sofware developed under the IDA or IDABC programmes

A final version of the decision is not found in the register. In Europe you can file a request for public document access under the  regulation EC/1049/2001 and usually get what you ask for. IDABC is now superceded by a new EU programme for interoperability, ISA. Apparently the Commission decision was later updated when the 1.1 version of the European Union Public License was approved. The EUPL is a wise choice for software from the public sector and enterprises as it is the legally best reviewed license for European market jurisdictions, available in all EU languages, it does not contain a political agenda and is compatible to most common licenses such as the GPL.

Any further questions?

  • Was C(2006) 7108 ever formally adopted or “top killed”? Does “The European Commission approved the EUPL v.1.0 on 9 January 2007” refer to C(2006) 7108?
    It seems the document was adopted.
  • Why is a final decision not found in the register?
    Because the Commission decided so on purpose! Very fishy.

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Today the European Parliament adopted the report on the EU Commission’s ISA programme, the follow-up programme of IDABC. The trilog process further improved the Committee report which included a few amendments that for instance forced the Commission ISA programme to spent 50% of its budget on the local level. They are gone in the version that was adopted.

P6_TA-PROV(2009)0246
European public administration ISA: interoperability solutions ***I

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
PE416.682
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on interoperability solutions for European public administrations (ISA) (COM(2008)0583 – C6-0337/2008 – 2008/0185(COD))

The European Parliament,

1. Approves the Commission proposal as amended;
2. Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;
3. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

and

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0185
Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Decision No …/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on interoperability solutions for European public administrations (ISA)

(16a) Given the task of the local and regional administrations in ensuring the effective functioning and interoperability of the European public administrations, it is important that solutions consider the needs of local and regional administrations.
(17) While ensuring the improvement of existing reusable generic tools established under the IDA and IDABC programmes as well as similar initiatives, the ISA programme should support the establishment, provision and improvement of new reusable generic tools in response to new needs or requirements, inter alia, established through the assessment of ICT implications of Community legislation.
(18) In the establishment, improvement or operation of common solutions the ISA programme should, whenever appropriate, build on or be accompanied by sharing of experience and solutions as well as exchange and promotion of good practices. In this context compliance with the European Interoperability Framework as well as openness in standards and specifications should be promoted.
(19) Solutions established or operated under the ISA programme should be based on the principle of technological neutrality and adaptability with a view to ensuring also that citizens, enterprises and administrations are free to choose the technology to be used.

Article 3
Activities
The ISA programme shall support and promote:
(a) the establishment and improvement of common frameworks in support of interoperability across borders and sectors;
(b) the assessment of ICT implications of proposed or adopted Community legislation as well as the planning of the implementation of ICT systems in support of the implementation of such legislation;
(c) the operation and improvement of existing common services as well as the establishment, industrialisation, operation and improvement of new common services, including the interoperability of public key infrastructures;
(d) the improvement of existing reusable generic tools as well as the establishment, provision and improvement of new reusable generic tools.

Article 4
General principles
Actions launched or continued under the ISA programme shall ▌ be based on the following principles:
(a) the principle of technological neutrality and adaptability;
(aa) the principle of openness;
(ab) the principle of reusability;
(b) the principle of privacy and protection of personal data;
(c) the principle of security.

Article 7
Solutions
1. Common frameworks shall be established and maintained by means of studies.
Studies shall also serve as means for supporting the assessment of ICT implications of proposed or adopted Community legislation as well as the planning of the implementation of solutions in support of the implementation of such legislation.
1a. Studies shall be published and forwarded to European Parliament committees responsible as a basis for future legislative modifications to ensure the interoperability of the computer systems used by public administrations.
2. Generic tools shall be established and maintained by means of projects. Projects shall likewise be a means of establishing, industrialising, operating and maintaining common services.

Article 8
Implementation rules
1. In the implementation of the ISA programme due consideration shall be given to the European Interoperability Strategy and the European Interoperability Framework.
2. Involvement of the largest possible number of Member States in a study or project shall be encouraged. A study or project shall be open for accession at any stage, and Member States not involved in a study or project shall be encouraged to join at a later stage.
2a. In order to ensure interoperability between national and community systems, common frameworks, common services and generic tools shall be specified with reference to existing European standards or publicly available or open specifications for information exchange and service integration.
3. The establishment or improvement of solutions shall, whenever appropriate, build on or be accompanied by sharing of experience as well as by exchange and promotion of good practices.
4. To avoid duplication and to speed up the establishment of solutions, results achieved by other relevant Community and Member States initiatives shall be taken into account, whenever appropriate.
To maximise synergies and ensure complementary and combined efforts, actions shall, whenever appropriate, be coordinated with other relevant Community initiatives.
5. The initiation of actions, the definition of its phases and the establishment of project charters and execution reports shall be carried out and monitored by the Commission as part of the implementation of the rolling work programme established in accordance with Article 9.

Article 13a
Interaction with stakeholders
The Commission shall bring together relevant stakeholders for the purposes of exchanging views among themselves and with the Commission on issues addressed by the ISA programme. To this end the Commission shall organise conferences, workshops and other meetings; it shall make use of electronic interactive platforms; and it may use any other means for interaction which it considers appropriate.
Article 14
International cooperation
1. The ISA programme shall be opened, within the framework of their respective agreements with the Community, to participation by the countries of the European Economic Area and the candidate countries.
2. Cooperation with other third countries and international organisations or bodies shall be encouraged, notably within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and Eastern Partnership and with neighbouring countries, in particular the Western Balkan countries and the countries of the Black Sea region. Related costs shall not be covered by the ISA programme.
2a. The ISA programme shall promote, wherever appropriate re-use of its solutions by third countries.

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