COIS, the UK arm of Open Forum Europe distributes ODF toolkit for Document Freedom Day week

COIS Press Release - March 26th 2015 - A new toolkit is being launched to target faster public sector adoption of Open Document Format. Released today by the Community for Open Interoperability Standards (the UK arm of Open Forum Europe), the toolkit contains a folder of principles and infographic for Government Technology leaders to use in educating public sector workers on the options and opportunities for ODF use. This publication joins global Document Freedom Day week celebrations of Open Standards, which numbers 58 events in 30 countries this year. The toolkit arrives as UK Government moves to comply with use of ODF 1.2 across departments, following a change in Cabinet Office policy in July last year.

Full Text of the Release (pdf)

Link to the toolkit


Maximising inclusiveness and engagement through the use of Open Standards in the European Commission

Joint Statement - March 25th 2015 - Today is Document Freedom Day, the international day to celebrate and raise awareness of Open Standards. On this occasion, we would like to reflect on the importance for public institutions in general, and for the European Commission in particular, considering its leadership role, of using Open Standards in all their digital communication and services.

Read more (pdf)


OFE joins digital industry coalition in welcoming the European Parliament's Draft Report on the EU Copyright system

OFE Statement - February 12th 2015 - OpenForum Europe (OFE) has jointly signed today an open industry statement, together with Digital Europe, EDIMA, Bitkom and CCIA. The statement supports the European Parliament copyright report drafted by MEP Julia Reda, which was presented in the Legal Affairs Committee, on 19 January 2015. OFE had previously published a press release following that meeting.

Read more (pdf)

OFE welcomes the European Parliament draft report kicking off the EU Copyright debate

OFE Press Release - January 21st 2015 - On 20 January, MEP Julia Reda presented her draft report to the JURI Committee of the European Parliament on the evaluation of the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC). This is an important first step in what has been announced as one of the key priorities of the Juncker Commission.

Read more (pdf)

Study indicates discriminatory practices in public procurement of software solutions in Europe are on the rise

OFE Press Release - December 18th 2014 - In a study published on December 18th 2014, OpenForum Europe found that 23 % of all tender notices for the public purchase of software solutions contained explicit references to a brand from a specific supplier, the large majority of which (18 % overall) had a apparent discriminatory impact.

Read more (pdf)

Cabinet office Plugfest builds momentum for ODF

COIS Press Release - December 10th 2014 - On Monday and Tuesday, 8th-9th December, a group of technologists, SMEs, corporations, individuals, and representatives of Governments gathered in Bloomsbury, London over two days to collectively improve the implementation of Open Document Format (ODF).

Read more (pdf)



OFE calls on the Council members to adopt a strong proposal on net neutrality

OFE statement - November 26th 2014 - OFE joins a number of organisations in calling in the Council of the EU to adopt strong Net Neutrality rules, and to reject the most recent proposal made by the Italian presidency. Without clear rules on Net Neutrality, the larger access providers become gatekeepers – with the power to allow access to their customers to those who can pay for the privilege and to exclude all others.

Read more (pdf)

OFE statement on the publication of the ECIS Report "Ensuring a thriving cloud market: Why interoperability matters for business and government"

OFE statement - 14th November 2014 - OFE strongly welcomes the publication by ECIS of their report on "Ensuring a thriving cloud market: Why interoperability matters for business and government". Speaking at the Symposium that launched the report, OFE's CEO Graham Taylor supported the policy recommendations emphasising that despite increased vigour in support of Open Standards the past issues of lock-in were not only still prevalent but without action now could re-emerge with Cloud based solutions.

Read more (pdf)


OpenForum Academy releases 'Research On Open Innovation'

Research On Open Innovation LogoOFE Press Release -  2nd October 2014 - The Fellows of the OpenForum Academy have published the second book in our series exploring the latest thinking around Open Innovation in technology, information and standards. 'Research in Open Innovation' is a "deeper dive" than our previous book entitled 'Thoughts on Open Innovation,' and is intended to help policy-makers, business leaders and researchers consider key issues in the field.

'Research on Open Innovation' was launched in September 2014 as part of OpenForum Academy's programme of Open Access research. You can learn more about it and download a free copy from our website. You can also buy a professionally printed copy on Lulu for 12.99 USD plus postage.  Read more...


Open letter to Member State Ambassadors to the EU


Brussels, 1st 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

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OFA Round Table - 1 April 2015: The role of encryption in cloud computing for data privacy and security

Encryption in cloud computing (picutre)

 A consensus is growing among IT security experts that security must focus on the data itself, instead of its physical location or the infrastructure (on-premise vs off-premise, specific geographic locations etc.). This helps ensure that data will remain safe even if physical access to the device holding the data is gained.

Encryption is one of the most effective data protection controls available today, as part of a defense-in-depth approach, being correlated with good authentication, authorisation and auditing. When data is encrypted, the access is regulated through the distribution of keys, thus the risk is transferred from the content to the keys.

This round table will look at issues such as the main driving force of encryption, the data that should be protected and the best moment to encrypt this data.


 Invitation to the event 


Photo by FutUndBeidl / CC BY 




 A position for a Policy/Communication Intern is available in the OFE Brussels Office.

The intern will be working directly with OFE staff in the Brussels Office. The precise responsibilities will be determined in accordance with the intern's interests and can include :

  • Monitoring EU policy developments and alerting OFE's network on relevant issues ;
  • Help in preparing and organising events and meetings with the community and policy makers ;
  • Help in preparing communication material for the website (press releases, white papers, policy statements) and social media ;
  • General office administration.

Candidates should be degree educated, have some knowledge and understanding of the functioning of the EU institutions and an interest in ICT, Public Affairs and/or Communications.

We will offer a period of 3 months (extendable to 6 months), starting at the beginning of April 2015.

 Please apply by email submitting your CV and Application Form  to:

Closing date: 20 March 2015, 
with interviews taking place in the week 23-27 March 2015.

Position description and application details


COIS logo

OFE is seeking to appoint an Executive to lead the future development of the Community for Open Interoperability Standards (COIS) - OFE's UK arm

The successful candidate will replace Basil Cousins who is retiring from playing a leading operational  role in the development of OFE and OFE/COIS.  

This challenging and exciting central position provides an opportunity to shape both role and organisation. Coordination, operations and fund raising are key, reinforced by leadership and subject matter insight.

Read more... logo small

Status update #2 : Small Steps - Change on the way?

15th January 2015 - There has been a positive development after our last post in October in the file formats of press releases of the EU institutions. Since November 2014, the press releases of the European Commission are downloadable only in an open format (.pdf).

Read more on the website.

OFE Round Table - What are the Policy, Legal and Regulatory Implications of Regional Clouds?

26th November 2014 - Time and time again people can hear references to "data Schengen area" or "fortress Europe". While some people raise concerns about the negative impact of such regional approach, others consider that reinforcing regional clouds might be the appropriate solution.

 During this second event of the OpenForum Academy Round Tables' Programme, stakeholders from industry, European policy-making, academia and community looked at the policy and legal implications of regional cloud. To set up the context, Professor Millard described the historical context and the concept of "balkanisation" of the cloud and then he pointed out the difficulties of defining a "Europe-only cloud". Following his intervention, Mr Graux, the editor of the EU Code of Conduct, described the drafting work and the outcomes of this industry-led non-binding text. Before passing to the interactive discussion with an audience of more than 45 participants, Mr Troyon Rama represented point of view of the industry and conveyed IBM's observations about the shape of the European Cloud market opportunity as well as client feedback on what are their key priorities and concerns, majoring on how of new technologies are powerful enablers of innovation and economic growth.

Round Table Report - The Policy, Legal and Regulatory Implications of Regional Clouds (White Paper)


OFA Round Table : Open standards and open source in public procurement - from policy to implementation

5th November 2014 - Over the years, we have seen a number of policy initiatives promoting the take-up of open standards and open source in public institutions. But how effective are these policies in practice? How does the public sector ensure that they are effectively implemented and reap the benefits from greater competition, flexibility, and independence from any individual supplier? What exactly are the challenges faced in rolling out such reforms within a large organisation?

To explore these issues, we will invite four speakers from different levels of government to talk about their experience :

Round Table Report


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

10th October 2014 - 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 butt 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 butt market of TODAY:

Round Table Report - Trusted Cloud (White Paper)

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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