Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?
If one were to choose the single most disputed question in standard setting over the past decade, it would have to be the deceivingly simple question, “What does it mean to be an ‘open standard?’”
> openness lowers barriers to market entry, thereby widening the field to competition – leading to more choice, better quality and lower prices;
> openness spurs innovation by allowing more talent to contribute ideas and advance the state of-the-art;
> openness strengthens the position of consumers vis-à-vis their suppliers;
> openness enables consumers to combine off-the-shelf products with custom-built products and turn-key systems;
> openness facilitates interoperability through transparency;
> openness enhances security through transparency;
> openness ensure access to information and services, now and in the future, as it avoids lock-in situations, making such access dependent from specific products;
> Any Public Administration must be independent of any particular supplier in terms of having permanent access to and control over its own data….
> All stakeholders have the same possibility of contributing to the development of the specification and public review is part of the decision-making process;
> The specification is available for everybody to study;
> Intellectual property rights related to the specification are licensed on FRAND [i.e., fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory] terms or on a royalty-free basis in a way that allows implementation in both proprietary and open source software.
For whatever reason, it appears that the EC has decided to abandon the leadership position that it took in 2004 for setting the bar on standards suitable for government adoption. Those that believe that open standards, liberally defined, are vital to open government will now have to look for innovation elsewhere.
Update 12/22: You can join a discussion on the EIF at the TalkStandards website