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Interoperability is a major requirement for industries and governments in a society that increasingly moves towards global collaboration and integration. Open standards built on the principles of openness, transparency and consensus lay the grounds for innovation, growth and fair competition. Open standards are not synonymous of open source. The former is a set of specifications, the latter is an implementation. However, they share their commitment to openness and defend the equal opportunities of everyone to participate. This paper looks to the open source as the best way to enable interoperability between different technologies and applications. The role of open standards in interoperability is analyzed and some of the policies introduced by the European Union for the use and dissemination inside Members States are examined.
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