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In the August issue
Do good (open source) and talk about it
For many, August is a slow month, filled with the lighter activities in life and enjoying time off. It is also a good month to pause and take stock of achievements and lessons learnt. For this reason, OSOR spoke with several open source public sector leaders about how their projects have evolved over the last few years and what they have learnt.

Leonardo Favario, Open Source Project Leader at the Italian Department for the Digital Transformation spoke about their guidelines on the acquisition and reuse of software for public administrations. The guidelines were adopted two years ago to support public procurement officers in the implementation of rules on favouring open source in public procurement and the reuse of software. When thinking back, Favario recalled that while the new rules “disrupted” how things were done, they were not enough on their own. What did he learn? “You need to reach all levels. You need people that are able to explain [the rules] to public administrations. You need to build an ecosystem of people going in the same direction”.

Similarly, Petteri Kivimäki, CTO at the Estonia-based Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS), recognises the importance of a multi-pronged approach. NIIS’ main project is the decentralised data-exchange layer X-Road, which underpins many of Estonia’s digital public services. Widely considered as a success story of public sector open source, X-Road is used in more than 20 countries. When asked what made X-Road so successful, Kivimäki said “Estonia has done an excellent job in marketing and promoting their digital services, [...] it has given [X-Road] lots of good publicity. Then another very important factor is that it is open source.”

Countries around Europe, such as Poland, are currently implementing the new Open Data Directive. The Directive updates previous rules and now requires public sector organisations to publish many types of data as open data, such as meteorological, geospatial, transport and enterprise ownership data, for reuse by third parties. This data can be extraordinarily useful to power new digital services useful to citizens in their daily lives, but only if its publication reaches those interested to reuse the data. As the old adage goes, do good and talk about it.

The OSOR team

Latest News
"We disrupted how re-use was done"

Italy’s law favouring open source software in public procurement and sharing of code is generally considered to be a good example of primary law. Yet, the law is also thought to have had little real-life effect. To address this, the Italian government adopted guidelines in May 2019 to help with the implementation. Two years later, it’s “slowly but firmly going in the right direction”, says Leonardo Favario, Open Source Project Leader at the Italian Department for the Digital Transformation.

Open source in international cooperation

Petteri Kivimäki, CTO at the Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS), agreed to be interviewed on the history and the impact of X-Road®, the open source data exchange layer solution.

Open data in Poland

The Polish Parliament unanimously voted for the law transposing the directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information on 23 July.

From the EU Gateway to the EU Digital COVID Certificate

In compliance with the 1 July deadline, all the Member States as well as other non-EU countries effectively connected with the EU Gateway, thus going live with the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

Open source software supported in the French open science policy

The French Ministry of Research shared its Second National Plan for Open Science for the years 2021-2024 on 6 July. The Plan foresees several initiatives aimed at increasing the reach of open science principles, and, for the first time, includes open source as a critical component of scientific research that needs to be recognised and supported.

European data-driven innovation on open source

The European cloud platform is a reaction to a market dominated by tech-giants. It is an initiative for establishing digital sovereignty through open technologies and EU data strategies. The next step is to create decentralised Hubs for innovation and implementation.

Optimising open data from Luxembourg’s historical newspapers

The National Library of Luxembourg has developed an OCR-tool, that users of historical open data can find pre-trained on GitHub. This software tool is an enhancer of quality of existing XML schema or the regular OCR-engine. It currently comes with a “training set” for the software.

Data transfer and ownership in Australia is tested by open source

Since 2017, individuals and small businesses in Australia have had the possibility of comparing products and services of, for instance, accredited banks. The system behind these products and services, consisting of a number of APIs, is tested on an ongoing basis by an open source mock version. This testing increases the security of the Consumer Data Right Register.

French report on digital sovereignty

In July 2020 the French National Assembly convened a special mission on building and promoting national and European digital sovereignty. The mission has just published its first report last month with a set of recommendations, among which it suggests using open source software as a default in public administrations.

National working group on open source in Denmark

On June 8th, the Committee on Architecture and Standards under the Danish Agency for Digitisation decided to create a joint guide on the use of open source in the Danish public sector. The project and the first version of the guide will be finished by the end of 2021.

Upcoming Events
Online event: OpenSym 2021

The 17th International Symposium on Open Collaboration (OpenSym 2021) is a three-day hybrid conference that will take place online and physically in Madrid between 15 and 17 September 2021. The conference will be centered around various aspects of open collaboration, research and practice, including open source, open data, open science, open education, the use of wikis and related social media, as well as IT-driven open innovation research.

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date 15/09/2021 - 17/09/2021
Online event: EU Open Source Policy Community Meeting 2021

On 24 September 2021, OpenForum Europe will host the EU Open Source Policy Community Meeting 2021. This webinar is designed to serve as an open space for the European open source community to discuss and share recent developments and insights on open source, and more specifically on EU open source-related policies.

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date 24/09/2021
Online event: Open Source Summit

Between 27 and 30 September 2021, the Linux Foundation is organising the Open Source Summit in a hybrid format, taking place in Seattle (USA) and virtually. This event will be focused on the latest trends in open source and open collaboration and on how open source is shaping innovation. Attendees will have a variety of ways to collaborate and share ideas with their peers, as well as to learn how to help create richer open source communities, how to grow their technical skills and much more.

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date 27/09/2021 - 30/09/2021
Solutions of the Month
Statens personadressregister

The State Personal Address Register (SPAR) is a public register that includes all persons registered in Sweden, updated each day with data from the Swedish Population Register. The purpose of the platform is to disclose information electronically for users who meet the required conditions.


Secure electronic mailbox for exchange of messages between the Belgian government, businesses and citizens. The service also gives users access to government documents.


Open source process and task system that helps Dutch municipalities automatically manage and categorise reports about issues in the public space, initially developed by the municipality of Amsterdam.

Latest Studies
Case study on iMio

iMio, short for Intercommunale de Mutualisation Informatique et Organisationnelle in French, is a Belgian inter-municipal organisation that coordinates the sharing of solutions and services for local authorities of the Walloon Region. iMio carries out three types of activities: the production of interoperable open source software (OSS), the purchase of IT solutions from central purchasing bodies and/or markets, and the organisational structuring of local governments’ working processes.

Open Source Software Country Intelligence Report - Argentina

Find out how open source software is promoted in Argentina through the various public bodies involved in OSS development and the role of the different strategic players in further contributing to the country's lively open source ecosystem.

Open Source Software Country Intelligence Report - Iceland

With the most recent political framework listing the use of open source software in government services and reaffirming its use in the public sector, learn how the Icelandic government and the various initiatives geared towards citizens have promoted the use of OSS in the country.

Open Source Software Country Intelligence Report - Ukraine

Discover the many OSS initiatives that are used in Ukrainian public administrations and read more about the responsible governmental bodies.

View all studies
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