Several Members of the European Parliament asked an official question in Parliament about non-free software advertisement on official EU websites. Of course, we are happy about this support for our PDFreaders campaign.

Here the questions from Jan Philipp Albrecht (Verts/ALE) , Françoise Castex (S&D) , Marietje Schaake (ALDE) , Christian Engström (Verts/ALE) and Francisco Sosa Wagner (NI). (We put all the questions with their translations in most EU languages on our own website so you can refer to them, without having to download .doc documents from the EP's website)

Numerous EU public websites refer to proprietary software, like Acrobat Reader, as the only possible way of reading PDF files, and provide a download link. This is a case of direct advertising by public institutions, which creates a competitive advantage for one company to sell its products.

  1. Currently, on how many of the Commission’s own web pages do such advertisements appear?
  2. Could the Commission provide links to these pages, as well as names of EU institutions that have such advertising on their websites?
  3. What are the Commission’s reasons (e.g. financial gain, lack of other functional software, etc.) for advertising this particular software as the only possible way of reading PDF files?
  4. Have the institutions that have such advertising on their website explained whether they have tried other PDF readers before? Which software did they mention?
  5. What steps is the Commission taking to resolve this problem regarding a) the Commission’s own website, and b) the websites of public institutions in Member States?

We are looking forward to the replies, and it would be good if other politicians start asking similar questions.