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Europe backs open standards in interoperability drive

ZDNet - The European Commission has published its long-awaited interoperability framework for public services, recommending that open standards be given preference over proprietary alternatives where possible.

The new European Interoperability Framework (EIF), released on Thursday, includes a recommendation that, "when establishing European public services, public administrations should prefer open specifications, taking due account of the coverage of functional needs, maturity and market support".

... The open source advocacy group Openforum Europe — whose members include Google, IBM, Oracle and Red Hat — welcomed the recommendation for open specifications. "EIF will help public authorities escape from the sort of technology lock-in into one single vendor that until now has been the norm across Europe," chief executive Graham Taylor said in a statement.

Taylor added that, while his group was "broadly happy with the compromise text", the document lacks some oof the practical guidance found in earlier drafts. "This may make it too easy for government agencies to dodge making the sort of interoperable systems the Commission wants to see," he said.