5 October 2012 — Several years of negotiations culminated this week in a decision by the Council of the European Union to reform the European standardization system. The new rules broaden official outreach and collaboration among European member states and agencies, de jure European standards organizations (ESOs), and industry open standards consortia including OASIS.
As a global standards consortium, OASIS has long participated in European standards policy-making discussions relevant to information and communication technology (ICT). OASIS standards are widely used within European governments and industry as an important source for consensus ICT standards development. Nevertheless, prior European community regulation was unclear on the authority of public administrations to incorporate industry consortia standards into official work programs. The wide acceptance of standards from OASIS and other consortia for e-Government work in Europe led to the reconsideration of these rules.
The regulation adopted on 4 October modifies existing European policy in favor of broader cooperation. The new rule explicitly embraces the use of appropriate industry consortia standards for public procurement and the inclusion of established global consortia in official programs and grants. It encourages ESOs to work more closely with industry consortia and amends several directives, removing any implications of exclusivity for de jure standards. The regulation also elevates the importance of outreach by standards projects to small-to-medium scale enterprises (SMEs).
“We are delighted to have the Council’s confirmation of these important reforms,” said Dr. Carol Cosgrove-Sacks, OASIS senior advisor for international policy, and member of the high level European Expert Panel for the Reform of the European Standards System (EXPRESS) which in 2009-2010 initiated the reform. “European governments and enterprises have been avid users of open ICT standards and drivers of OASIS projects for years, nevertheless, official legal recognition for these ties is most welcome.” Dr. Cosgrove-Sacks, along with representatives from the Internet Society and World Wide Web Consortium, will continue to represent global consortia on the new EU Multi-Stakeholder Panel, created as a home for European ICT standards cooperation activities.
“We have always enjoyed a fruitful, collaborative relationship with the ESOs,” noted OASIS Executive Director, Laurent Liscia. “OASIS and ETSI cooperate on multiple projects, and CEN has embraced and facilitated the broad use of OASIS standards including the Universal Business Language (UBL) for public procurement across Europe. OASIS looks forward to continuing our contributions to the development of global and European open e-government practices, and we appreciate the strong support we’ve enjoyed from the European Commission and member state agencies.”
Council of the European Union announcement
OASIS is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. OASIS promotes industry consensus and produces worldwide standards for cloud computing, security, business transactions, publishing, Smart Grid, and other applications. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. OASIS members broadly represent the marketplace of public and private sector technology leaders, users and influencers. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. http://www.oasis-open.org.
Carol Geyer, Senior Director, OASIS, firstname.lastname@example.org