The EU Open Source Policy Summit 2024
Open Source Driving the European Digital Decade | Belgium
23 March 2022
The increased attention on digital autonomy stems from concerns regarding user-control of IT infrastructures, services and products that our economy depends on. In a soon-to-be-published paper by OpenForum Europe, we outline how these concerns are nothing new to people following the open technology space. Put simply, open technologies, in particular open source and open standards, give the user and developer the control that at a societal level delivers digital autonomy.
At this event, the speakers and panellists will look at how open technologies can deliver digital autonomy from different perspectives, such as that of the public sector, vendors of open technologies and the citizens and consumers that engage with the products or services.
Seen from these different perspectives, particular advantages of open tech emerge. They offer control and autonomy for the user, without limiting an openness to commerce, competition and innovation. They lower barriers for SMEs to enter the market and compete at different levels of the technology stack. They bring transparency, accountability and security to the end user.
That said, there are policy challenges facing both the IT departments of public and private organisations, as well as the policy-making arms of national governments. Culture change, strengthening know-how and capacity, as well as outdated IT procurement laws are currently hindrances, albeit surmountable, to realise autonomy, innovation and economic growth with open technologies.
Sivan Pätsch, OpenForum Europe
Pearse O’Donohue, Director for “Future Networks”, DG Connect, European Commission
Conceptually, what is the link between digital autonomy and open technologies? In this panel, the speakers will present their views on the role of open technologies in delivering digitisation at scale, while reconciling the need for autonomy and without building barriers to competition and innovation.
Thomas Gageik, Director for “Digital Business Solutions”, DG Informatics, European Commission
From a European perspective, several policy developments indicate that there is increased appreciation of the role open technologies, and in particular open source, can play to solve some of the most pressing challenges. The recently adopted Berlin Declaration is now being implemented, and there are efforts underway to strengthen the European Interoperability Framework, to name two such developments. At the same time, large public investments are being leveraged to deliver the digital transformation. In this panel, speakers will discuss the opportunities and challenges to use open source as a model and tool to achieve the digital goals collectively set out by the EU member states and the European Commission.