OpenForum Europe

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Open Forum Europe
Abbreviation OFE
Formation 2002
Type Registered interest group
Official language

OpenForum Europe (OFE) is a European open source software advocacy group.


Founded in 2002 it seeks to encourage the use of open source software and Open standards among businesses, consumers and governments. OFE's role has since evolved and its primary role now is to promote the use of open standards in ICT as a means of achieving full openness and interoperability of computer systems throughout Europe. It continues to promote open source software, as well as openness more generally as part of a vision to facilitate open, competitive choice for IT users.

OFE is a registered interest group with the European Commission that devotes much of its time to explaining the merits of openness in computing to politicians and legislators across Europe.

OFE works closely with the European Commission, European Parliament, national and local governments both directly and via its national partners. It fully supports the European Commission's Digital Agenda, which aims to create a flourishing digital economy in Europe by 2020.

OFE maintains an ongoing dialogue with key decision makers. It participates actively in public consultations that concern the industry and often serves as an interlocutor between legislators and the wider open computing community. Once a year it hosts a Summit at which top European policymakers and thought leaders from the industry share their views about the importance of open computing. In 2010 Vice President Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda provided the keynote.

The organisation is actively involved in the discussion about the development of Open Document Format (ODF), an ISO standard for electronic documents.

OFE cooperates with the Open Source Consortium, Free Software Foundation Europe, the Linux Professional Institute LPI[1] as well as Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) and the ODF Alliance.[2]


OFE is supported by major IT suppliers and works closely with the European Commission and National Governments both direct and via National Associates.

OFE corporate members include Google, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat and Deloitte. OFE has national partners from across Europe, representing many tens of thousands of SMEs. It also has a partnership with the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and collaborates with the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII). These are two of the leading free and open source software campaign groups in Europe. OFE also collaborates with the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS).


OFE Chief Executive Graham Taylor spoke at the 4th EU Ministerial eGovernment conference in Lisbon in September 2007, stressing the benefits of open source software in government.[3]

OpenForum Europe has helped to launch petitions to call on government bodies such as the European Parliament to use open standards whenever possible.[4]

OpenForum Europe has also held seminars to instruct lawmakers on the merits of open source software and open standards.[5]

Software patents[edit]

The body has been criticised in 2003 by Bruce Perens for its stance on software patents.[6] This was rejected by OFE.[7] In 2010, Florian Müller accused OFE and its members of hypocrisy in connection with open standards, stating that they had been a "notorious fake representative of open source for many years."[8]


External links[edit]