European Parliament Adopts 2024 Budget: FOSSEPS 2 Pilot Project transitions to a Preparatory Action

23 November 2023

Author: Axel Thévenet

In a decisive move underscoring their commitment to critical areas, the European Parliament (EP) and the Council formally ratified the EU’s 2024 budget, marking a significant milestone in addressing pressing global challenges while bolstering support for research initiatives, youth empowerment, and combating external adversities.

EP President Roberta Metsola signed the 2024 EU budget into law on 22 November, symbolising the culmination of rigorous discussions and collaborative efforts within the Strasbourg hemicycle. This budget, amounting to €189.4 billion in commitments, and payments set at €142.6 billion, serves as a testament to the EU’s determination to fortify essential sectors.

In this vein, the evolution of the FOSSEPS Pilot Project into preparatory action marks a pivotal shift in harnessing Free Open Source Software (FOSS) within European Public Services (EPS). The project’s triad of actions – establishing an Open Source Solutions Catalogue, identifying critical software within EPS, and facilitating the cooperation on open source at European level – underpins the foundation for strategic digital sovereignty, market competitiveness, innovation, and cybersecurity.

The upcoming Preparatory Action (PA) plans to expand upon the Pilot Project’s accomplishments, focusing on key areas:

1. European Applications Catalogue: The PA aims to significantly expand the European Open Source Solutions Catalogue minimal viable product by ingesting data from more Member States. This federated approach will help unify national catalogues, aiding Member States without existing catalogues and standardising data content for meaningful user searches.

2. Critical Software InventoryAddressing the lack of awareness concerning critical software within EPS, the PA will extend the inventory’s scope to accommodate the increased use of FOSS in public administrations. Collaboration with industry and community actors aims to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks collaboratively, with the goal that Member states increase collaboration on identifying and mitigating cybersecurity risks. 

3. European Cooperation on Open Source: The PA will further encourage the continuation of an open source network, enhancing its capacity in members and actions. This initiative aims to achieve digital sovereignty while nurturing the European open source ecosystem and defining common pooling mechanism for EPS. 

4. Open Source Cybersecurity and Sustainability: Conducting analyses on commonly used open source software will drive bug fixes and enhance software sustainability. Additionally, it will develop a structure for collaborative resource pooling across European administrations, resolving common challenges collaboratively.

5. Define strategies to promote the re-use of software developed by/for public services: Will promote software re-use using various incentives and help public services to address software issues that prevent their solutions to be used by other public administrations in other Member States. 

You can find all the existing content by the FOSSEPS team here. 

This article was originally published on OSOR.