Now that my mandate in the European Parliament has come to an end, there is one important project that will still go on until the fall of this year: The European Free and Open Source Software Audit project – FOSSA for short – that was initialised in 2014, is coming to an end. After running for 2 years as a “pilot project”, and for 3 more years as a “preparatory action”, the next step to follow-up on the project is to establish its actions in European law.

FOSSA Hackathon with the PHP Symphony project in Brussels, April 2019FOSSA Hackathon with the PHP Symphony project in Brussels, April 2019
Photo: EU-FOSSA project team

In April, the Parliament adopted my report on the Regulation establishing the Cybersecurity Centre, with a huge majority. The Parliament position on the Cybersecurity Centre makes explicit reference to the successful FOSSA project, and establishes the promotion of the Security by Design principle, including contributing to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) by financing security audits, where the software is “commonly used for infrastructure, products and processes”.

The realisation that FOSS is the basis for our common, every-day infrastructure – the Internet, is what drove the FOSSA project in the first place.

Letter by FOSSA MEPs

So consequently, after the adoption of the report, my colleagues Marietje Schaake, Max Andersson and I sent a letter to the Commission, urging it to make a concrete proposal for the continuation and permanent financing of FOSSA. You can download and read our letter (PDF).

Reply from Commissioner Gabriel

By the end of May, we received a reply from the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel (PDF), outlining that FOSSA has been exemplary for ongoing and future Commission action, such as the Open Source Strategy that is currently being updated, and the Cybersecurity Centre that is to be established.

What’s next?

The European Parliament, the Member States represented by the Council, and the Commission will pick the discussions on the Cybersecurity Centre back up later this year, probably as early as the new Commissioners start working.

What can I do?

Free and Open Source Software is the basis of the Internet. The EU needs to contribute to its security in the interest of all of us!Tweet this!

In order to make sure that the FOSSA project and its results are properly reflected in the actions of the Cybersecurity Centre, the two legislators (Parliament and Council) have to agree on the law establishing the Centre. You can ask your elected representatives in the European Parliament to back up the Parliament’s great current position and to not give in. You can also ask your governments to make sure the Council supports the Parliament’s demands in the negotiations. And obviously, you can always be vocal about how FOSS is great for all of us!

To the extent possible under law, the creator has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

Comments closed.