The Rhône-Alpes Region of France Asserts Its Commitment to Free Software, Joins April and Adullact

Jean-Marie Chosson

During a meeting on February 20th, 2014, the Rhône-Alpes Regional Council decided to make a commitment to free/libre software. Following the task that President Queyran had entrusted to Jean-Marie Chosson (regional advisor of the Europe Ecologie Les Verts), regarding interoperability, free software, and open data, the Regional Council in plenary session unanimously adopted the “principles of implementation of an active policy for addressing interoperability, free software, and open data” [fr].

Included are principles such as “For its ordinary office uses and specialized applications, the Rhône-Alpes Region favours the use of free operating systems and software [...]” or “In the event of end-of-life or obsolescence of a version of a software program that is in use, or in the event of the deployment of a new tool, the Rhône-Alpes Region is committed to researching and favouring a potential migration to a free solution, in compliance with public-procurement rules.”

“April of course welcomes this decision, especially since it comes with concrete decisions for expanding free software and open standards usage, as well as with additional memberships for April and Adullact”, said April's president, Lionel Allorge. “We are proud to be able to count the Region as one of our 3,600 members, who are working together to promote free software, and we call on the other local governments to do the same.”

As pointed out by Jean-Marie Chosson in his statement on this matter [fr], the choice of free software is today in the interest of all public stakeholders: “As free software belongs, so to speak, to society as a whole, it would not make sense for local governments not to follow the example of the French government services, which are already increasingly using it, pursuant to the publication of the Ayrault memo, in September 2012, which makes the use of free software mandatory in government services... Especially since free software is good for jobs and the local economy, as well as for innovation in software engineering.”

April, therefore, calls on all public stakeholders to consider free software and to give it priority, as it does in its current membership campaign.