European Commission Adopts New Guidelines for Distribution of Open Source Software

New rules for open-source software distribution were adopted by the EU Commission on Thursday. The move aims to make it easier for the Commission to make its software source code publicly accessible for the benefit of public services, businesses, and citizens in a shorter amount of time and with fewer paperwork.

The new restrictions follow recent Commission research on the economic impact of open-source software and hardware on the EU economy, which found that open-source software provides four times higher returns on average than proprietary software.

Legislation Editing Open Software (LEOS), an open-source tool used across the Commission to prepare legal texts, is an example of using open sourcing. The technology, which was originally created for the European Commission, is now being developed in collaboration with Germany, Spain, and Greece.

In a field where the EU can play a leading role, open source offers significant benefits. The new guidelines will improve transparency and allow the Commission, as well as individuals, businesses, and government agencies throughout Europe, to benefit from open-source software development. Collective efforts to improve software and co-create new features not only save money for society but can also increase security by ensuring that software is checked for bugs and security problems by external and independent professionals.

The guidelines are in accordance with the Commission’s Open Source Software Strategy 2020-2023, which lays out the Commission’s vision for maximizing open source’s transformative potential.