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“Europe’s digital future? Free and Open Source Software,” says MEP Kolaja

Strasbourg, 21/10/2021 – The European Pirates agree to increase the budget of the European Union for the year 2022 compared to the Commission’s proposal. In the budget report voted yesterday at the Plenary, Pirate Vice-President Marcel Kolaja also succeeded in pushing through the use of Free and Open Source Software within the European Parliament. Open source solutions and transparent Artificial Intelligence (AI) are according to him the key elements to safe and fair digital future. The Parliament administration should now take the approved parts on open source solutions and transparent AI into reality when planning the financial year 2022.

Marcel Kolaja MEP, Czech Vice-President of the European Parliament comments:

“Free and Open Source Software solutions are a much safer option for us. Europe really should have more control over its critical infrastructure. Therefore, I am glad that thanks to my work, the budget resolution says that virtual meetings and instant messaging should be hosted on the Parliament’s servers and based on Free and Open Source Software solutions. Thanks to that, Parliament can adapt services to its own needs, instead of relying on third party products, over which it has no proper control. If we want to have full control over our critical and personal data, we need to ensure that third countries will have no access to them. For that, we really need to change the way we think about the European digital strategy,”

According to Kolaja, both the European institutions and the European economy should prioritize interoperability and transparency in ICT development and the use of Free and Open Source Software. That would bring together the best of the two seemingly opposite directions: collaboration and reduction of over-reliance on digital solutions from third countries. Kolaja believes that this is the basis on which a proper European digital strategy should be built on.

The 2022 EU Budget resolution was voted yesterday at the Plenary in Strasbourg. Already back in April, the Parliament approved a resolution on the Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2022. As the European Pirates requested, the resolution mentions that Artificial Intelligence built and used by Parliament services should rely on Free and Open Source Software algorithms.

For further details and media inquiries please contact:

Nikolaus Riss for German and English +436769694000

Tomáš Polák for Czech and English +420728035059

Picture Source: Unsplash

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