The Commission has adopted new rules that make open source licensing of its own software the default whenever this could benefit citizens, companies or other public services.

The Joint Research Centre played a key role in initiating these changes.

A recent study showed that investment in open source leads on average to four times higher returns. Up to now, open source licensing of a Commission software required a Commission decision and a lengthy process. Thanks to this decision, Commission services will be able to publish their software source code in much shorter time and with less paperwork.

The JRC, as one of the main sources of software development in the Commission, drafted the new in-house rules on open source licensing in close cooperation with the Directorate-General for Informatics.

Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, said: “Open source offers great advantages in a domain where the EU can have a leading role. The new rules will increase transparency and help the Commission, as well as citizens, companies and public services across Europe, benefit from open source software development. Pooling of efforts to improve the software and the co-creation of new features lowers costs for the society, as we also benefit from the improvements made by other developers. This can also enhance security as external and independent specialists check software for bugs and security flaws.”