Open letter to Member State Ambassadors to the EU

by Rod Norman — last modified Oct 01, 2014 12:31 PM


Brussels, 1 October 2014 - Dear Member State Ambassadors to the EU,

Please make your relevant Ministers aware of this Call to support net neutrality rules in the proposed Telecommunications Single Market Regulation.

We understand that you are currently involved in the Council of Ministers discussions on the proposed European Telecommunications Single Market Regulation. We, the undersigned organisations, are committed to an open, transparent and secure Internet and would like to call on you to support strong open Internet provisions as part of this proposal.

The open nature of the Internet is a key driver for innovation and economic efficiency and for fostering informed citizenship and plurality of opinions, creating a vital need for effective rules on net neutrality at EU level. Providing a clear EU regulatory framework on net neutrality would bring much needed certainty for sustained investment in innovative online content and applications that are available to everyone equally and boost consumers’ trust in the Internet and the digital society.

Net neutrality allows consumers and citizens across Europe to enjoy unfettered access to the Internet, regardless of the content, services and applications they use. This principle enables everyone, including innovators and entrepreneurs, to communicate with everyone, both in Europe and globally. Net neutrality is indispensable for innovation and growth, for the fundamental right to receive and impart information and for investment in next generation broadband.

We now call on the Council to take a strong stance on net neutrality.     Read more...

A call on public administrations to practice what they preach and support open document formats

OFE Press Release - 15th September 2014 - Today marks the start of the Global Legislative Openness Week, an annual celebration of open, participatory legislative processes. For the occasion, we join a number of organisations in signing an open letter addressed to all national legislatures around the world to make parliamentary information open by default. Opening up legislative, and more generally governmental information is not only crucial to improve transparency and accountability, but also enables third parties to leverage the potential of that information through the development of applications and services that address public and private demands.

Full Text of the Release

OFE statement calling on STM Publishers to withdraw their model licenses

OFE Statement August 8th 2014 - OFE joined 57 other organisations in calling for the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical (STM) Publishers to withdraw their model licenses and work with the community within the Creative Commons (CC) framework to build a scholarly literature that is compatible with wider human knowledge on the web. 

Full text of the statement


UK Government announcement - Open document formats selected to meet user needs

OFE Press Release July 23rd 2014 - OFE's UK Chapter welcomes this key policy announcement.  It is a fundamental step in implementing the Government's Open Standards Principles.
For the first time ever there is a default open format for Government documents.

The implications of a successful implementation will be widespread.  The potential is there to catalyse change well beyond central government. The Cabinet Office deserves every credit for a thorough and informed approach to being an intelligent adopter of standards.  This policy can deliver simpler user centric ICT decisions, more cost effective archiving, easier e-inclusion programmes and improved collaboration between government departments and between departments and the outside world.  If ever there was an organisation that runs on documents, it is the machinery of government.  An open foundation to the digital workings of government should be applauded.

The OFE UK Chapter volunteers look forward to supporting this policy through our activities and celebrating its success.


Public procurement of ICT products in Europe still afflicted by references to brand names

OFE Press Release 15th July 2014 - For the sixth consecutive year, OpenForum Europe examined the EU Member States' practice of referring to specific trademarks when procuring for ICT products. In our latest report released in July 2014, we found that 22% of all tender notices issued contained an explicit references to specific brands – an increase of 5% since our previous report published in October 2013. This figure indicates a trend of continued discrimination

Link to OFE Procurement Monitoring Report  2013 – 2nd  Snapshot

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uk chapter  - LAUNCH


Open Forum Europe UK Chapter

 OFE (Openforum Europe) launches a formal UK Chapter, firmly endorsing the UK Cabinet Office's Open Standards Principles. The new Chapter is looking to support the Principles within central government and the diffusion of the ideas and benefits to the entire public sector and those engaged with it. In order to facilitate this, the UK Chapter has been set up to allow wider and easier interchange between community volunteers and supporters and the public sector.


OpenForum Academy is an independent programme established by OpenForum Europe. It has created a link with academia in order to provide new input and insight into the key issues which impact the openness of the IT market.

OFA Round Table - Trusted Cloud for the Enterprise –what are the key factors today?

 When? Friday 10 October 2014, 09:30 – 12:30

Where? Silken Berlaymont (Boulevard Charlemagne 11, 1000 Brussels)

What? The European Commission's Trusted Cloud Europe framework raises questions of trust and confidence in cloud computing. It seeks to encourage best practice and consensus building amongst both cloud providers and cloud users. And it sets thresholds for public procurement. Much positive work has been done but there’s more to do. As the market for cloud services evolves rapidly, some burning questions remain for the enterprise cloud market of TODAY:

Please confirm your interest in participating, by registering here.

Full details of the OpenForum Academy Round Table

OFE Round Table - Ensuring the security of critical ICT Infrastructure after Heartbleed: Should we leave it to the Community or does Government have a role?

OpenForum Academy (OFA) Round Table discussion on the security of critical ICT Infrastrucutre was held on 26 June 2014, at Silken Berlaymont Hotel, Brussels. Report is now available.

Round Table Report

Discriminatory practices continue to plague IT public procurement across Europe


For the fifth consecutive year, OpenForum Europe publishes a report on the EU Member States' practice of referring to specific trademarks when procuring computer software packages and information systems.

We found that almost 1 in 5 notices included technical specifications containg explicit references to trademarks.

These results clearly show that there is an entrenched and continuing EU-wide level of discrimination in the purchase of IT supplies. More than ever, there is urgent need for more transparent, open and fair EU and national procurement practices.

 Read more.....


In the UK OFE submits written evidence to Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) inquiry on Public Procurement.

Read Paper....


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