Greens call for end of Microsoft monopoly in the European Institutions
At a press conference in the European Parliament today, the Greens called for an end to the Microsoft monopoly in the European Institutions. The Greens along with the organisation Open Forum Europe (1) presented a petition against the current situation.
Green MEP David Hammerstein, spokesperson for the Greens in the Petitions Committee said:
"The European Parliament must practice what it preaches. We support the "Open Parliament" petition because we believe the current situation of a Microsoft monopoly has a negative impact on participatory democracy, innovation and competition. Greens reject the idea of forcing citizens to use the products of one single company when communicating with their MEPs. A level playing field for all economic players, technical neutrality and interoperability are all basic principles of the European Union that must be defended both in the European Court and in the Public Procurement practice of EU institutions themselves.
Therefore, we call on the European Institutions, in particular the European Parliament, to end its "lock in" of the information technology system of the Parliament that is not interoperable with other Information Communication Technology systems and is based on closed standards. While we applaud the firm record of the European Commission in defence of a fair market for software in Europe, we believe the public procurement practice of the EU institutions regarding software is in clear contradiction with EU objectives and legislation. Our daily practice must be coherent with our position in the European Court."
Green MEP Eva Lichtenberger, vice-president of the Green Group in the EP added:
"We are confronted with a very problematic situation on the Web and also concerning hardware: Monopolies are gaining ever more influence - the latest news about Google taking over DoubleClick and a possible absorption of Yahoo by Microsoft are two such examples. Monopolies tend to loose flexibility and in the end to block innovation. The Commission is right to take action against them. The situation is worrying in terms of consumer protection but might also threaten democratic structures in general. If we move towards an Internet controlled by "Microhoo" and "GoogleClick" that could end up in the hands of media-monopolists like Murdoch or Berlusconi, we might loose more than economic possibilities and leisure tools."Readmore.....