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Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party outlines commitment to open digital standards

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Video credit: FDFE

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany, one of Germany’s oldest political parties has now jumped on the bandwagon of embracing “open-source” technologies, as stated in a passage from its “Digital Charter.”

Here’s an excerpt from the “Digital Chapter”:

“The open and jointly developed standards of the Internet and open interfaces are the principles from which we advance the digitizzation of Germany. It is only through openness that competition can be created; only through openness can new players in competition challenge the top dogs. This is why the following will apply to all (public) digitization projects in Germany in the future: the awarding of contracts and funding will be subject to compliance with the principles of open source and open standards. Software financed by public funds should serve all citizens. In addition, free and open APIs should facilitate access for independent developments.” (Translation provided by FSFE)

The Digital Charter shows a positive approach towards open data, open educational resources (OER), and an “open public repository” consisting of reusable digital components.

The CDU was once the most powerful party in the realm of German politics but sharply dwindled in recent years and with the average age of a CDU’s member being around 59 years the embracing of this type of technological approach is somewhat unexpected.

At such a juncture, it is interesting to note that the party has still embraced the latest trend of “openness” in the realm of software technology.

Organizations such as the “Free Software Foundation Europe” (FSFE) have appreciated the CDU party’s resolution to embrace openness in software.

The president of FSFE Matthias Kirschner stated that “Free Software gives everyone the right to use, study, share and improve programs for any purpose. These freedoms strengthen other fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right to privacy. Digital sovereignty can only be achieved through Free Software. We are pleased that our campaign has now gotten through to the governing CDU party and that the conservatives support our demand “Public Money? Public Code!”. We now expect the CDU to immediately work within the government to create the legal basis for publicly funded software to be released under a Free- and Open-Source Software license.”

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