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Hague Declaration to be signed on 21 May in the Hague

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| The Hague Declaration calls on governments to:
| 1. Procure only information technology that implements free and open
| standards;
| 2. Deliver e-government services based exclusively on free and open
| standards;
| 3. Use only free and open digital standards in their own activities.


Defining "open standards": The Digital Standards Organization (digistan.org)

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| In my essay "Is OpenDocument an Open Standard? Yes!", I addressed this
| problem of multiple different definitions by finding three widely-used
| definitions (Perens', Krechmer's, and the European Commission's) and merging
| them. After all, if a specification meets all three definitions of "open
| standard", then it's far more likely to be a true open standard. Problem is,
| with all those trees, it's hard to see the forest.



MEPs Question Microsoft's Eligibility for Gov't Projects

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| The Commission, which has not responded yet, is allowed a few weeks to reply.


EU: Europarlement testing Ubuntu, OpenOffice and Firefox

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| The European Parliament's IT department is testing the use of GNU/Linux
| distribution Ubuntu, OpenOffice, Firefox and other Open Source applications,
| the British MEP James Nicholson explained last week in a letter to Italian
| MEP Marco Cappato. *


Is Microsoft Now Banned from EU Contracts?


Euro MP thinks Microsoft should be banned from government contracts


Green MEP says Microsoft should be excluded from EU contract awarding procedure


EC probes OOXML standards-setting process

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| A spokesman for the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes, told
| The Register that regulators were continuing to scrutinise interoperability
| issues related to Microsoft’s products following complaints from the
| Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) group. *
| As part of that process, the EC formally contacted a number of national
| standards bodies, including the Norwegian Standards Institute (NSI),
| requesting more details about possible irregularities in the OOXML
| standardisation process. *
| [...]
| “It must be stressed that it is not the Commission's intention to influence
| the outcome of this process, but the Commission considers it essential to
| ensure that European competition law is not violated in the course of the
| standard setting process,” he said in an email to El Reg. *
| In January the EC began formal anti-trust probes against Microsoft in two
| cases where it was alleged that the multinational firm had abused its strong
| market position. As part of the investigation into the first case, the
| Commission said that it would scrutinise OOXML on the grounds that the
| specification doesn't work with those of competitors. * *

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