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Open Source Strategy in the European Commission

The European Commission has updated its strategy for internal use of Open Source Software. The Commission, which is already using open source for many of its key ICT services and software solutions, will further increase the role of this type of software internally. The renewed strategy puts a special emphasis on procurement, contribution to open source software projects and providing more of the software developed within the Commission as open source.


The specific objectives of the renewed strategy are:

Equal treatment in procurement

The Commission will ensure a level playing field to open source software when procuring new software solutions. This means that open source solutions and proprietary solutions will be assessed on an equal basis, being both evaluated on the basis of total cost of ownership, including exit costs.

Contribution to communities

The Commission services will increasingly participate in open source software communities to build on the open source building blocks which are used in the Commission's software.

Clarification of legal aspects

In order to enable easy collaboration with the open source communities, Commission developers will benefit from appropriate legal coaching and advice on how to deal with the intellectual property issues relating to open source software.

Open-source and interoperable Commission-developed software

Software produced by the Commission services, in particular software produced with the objective of being used outside the Commission, will be open sourced and published on the Joinup platform and will use the European Union Public License (EUPL). The software produced should aim to be interoperable and use open technical specifications.

Transparency and better communication

The updated strategy emphasises an improved governance, an increasing use of open source in the domain of ICT security and the alignment of this strategy with the EC’s ISA Programme, facilitating the modernisation of cross border and cross sector eGovernment services.

Open Source Strategy in 10 points

The Commission's strategy for the internal use of Open Source Software was first adopted in 2000, and has since been updated three times. The use of open source software at the Commission increases and is extended to new areas with every new version.

Additional information

Open Source Software Strategy 2014-2017

How Open Source Software is used at the Commission?

Open Source Strategy in the European Commission: History