EU institutions remain unaware of document policy

The vast majority of EU officials who publish documents online are oblivious to the EU’s open document formats policy. One year after the launch of the ‘FixMyDocuments’ campaign, advocates of open document formats conclude the policy is perceived as unimportant. “There is a huge lack of awareness”, says campaign organiser Maël Brunet. “Maintainers show little interest to fix documents.”


“EU institutions are not living up to their 2010 commitment to support open document formats”, says Brunet, director of European Policy at OpenForum Europe.

Lack of awareness, lack of time and the perceived unimportance are the main reasons that EU officials do not fix documents after being contacted by the FixMyDocuments campaign, Brunet says.

Critical indifference

The 2011 EU document policy instructs the institutions to make their editable documents available in the open document format ODF. This is the only ISO standard that is fully supported by multiple office productivity tools, proprietary as well as open source. By not implementing the policy, the EU institutions continue to tip the balance on the software market, to the benefit of proprietary software solutions, explains Brunet.

The campaign was launched in September last year. Campaigners have since then pointed European institutions to over 15,000 editable documents that should be made available as ODF. “After a year, only around 10% of the pages have been ‘fixed’”, Brunet writes in a summary on the campaign website.

ODF Endorsements

The campaign was endorsed at its launch by the then EC Commissioner and Vice President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes. The use of ODF has since then been made the UK government’s document standard . The ISO standard has also been selected as the standard for editable documents in France. In September, the Dutch standardisation board announced it would begin enforcing the use of ODF as government standard for editable documents.