Freedom of knowledge

Was in brussels for a 3 days earlier this week (some pictures here). As i have pointed out before Brussels is one of the my favorite cities in europe. Not only because i really like the roughness of the place, but also because seemingly endless imagination of the eurocrats that are based there!

On the train back to amsterdam Joeri pointed me to the foreword to the Communication from the European Commission to the spring European Council which was written by José Manuel Barroso. In this essay (titled ‘Keeping up the pace of change‘) Baroso suggest introducing a 5th fundamental freedom[1]:

We have to build on this momentum and agree on a focusssed list of ambitious actions. Here are a few examples of what we need to do together:

[…] give europe a new “fifth freedom”, the free movement of knowledge to allow europe to Capitalize on its creative potential […]

Brilliant idea! (although it feels a bit as if Barrso is getting his ideas from what we have been saying for a while: see for example here or here) Now we just have to hope that they do not fuck up the free movement of knowledge in the same way they fucked up the free movement of people (by making it a freedom that can only be enjoyed on the inside of Europe).


  1. Note for the free software dudes: this is about the European Unions fundamental freedoms and not about the FSFs four freedoms, so stop complaining that the free movement of knowledge is implicit in the other 4 freedoms. ↩︎

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