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Free Software Foundation Europe - Declaration of Intent

From: Georg C. F. Greve
Subject: Free Software Foundation Europe - Declaration of Intent
Date: 22 Nov 2000 14:12:06 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/20.7

[Please repost and forward this article widely, wherever it
is appropriate.]

                Free Software Foundation Europe
                Declaration of Intent
                                        -- Georg C. F. Greve

A group of people have begun working on the concept of a "Free Software
Foundation Europe" which will essentially be a sister organization of
the Free Software Foundation founded by Richard M. Stallman.

It has become evident that the FSF in the U.S., being in a totally
different time and culture zone, can hardly keep in touch with the
strong developments and currents in European Free Software. Legally
independent of the FSF in America it will seek to grant an
organizatory backbone for Free Software in Europe - especially for
(although not limited to) the GNU Project. Furthermore it will provide
the necessary local organization for political work and distribution
of funds.

In achieving the goals

        - Political mouthpiece for Free Software & the GNU Project
        - Providing an organizational backbone
        - Raising & Distribution of funds

we percieve it as absolutely paramount to maintain the true spirit and
essence of Free Software. 

We also would like to avoid creating another splinter group in the
movement. For this reason we are in contact with Richard M. Stallman
as the goal is to become the acknowledged "European sister
organization" of the FSF - this will also allow Europeans to make
tax-deductable donations to "the" FSF.

Being the official sister organization brings the responsibility to
preserve its philosophical standpoints and values. In our eyes it is
the lastingness of all decisions and workings of the FSF that makes it
so special; so we will apply the same long-term considerations in all
our steps.

As the recent past has shown, it is quite quite easy to stray off the
path and lose track of those long-term goals. Hence it is crucial only
to have members with a firm grasp on the movement, its origins and the

We felt that this responsibility made it necessary to become aware of
the possible traps and pitfalls along the way before making our plans
public. After over a year of discussions and building trust into each
others integrity, we feel that it is time to bring those plans to

So far the core consists of

        Georg C. F. Greve <address@hidden>

        Bernhard Reiter <address@hidden>

        Werner Koch <address@hidden>

        Peter Gerwinski <address@hidden>

and we will set up a "FSF Europe" organization in Germany as a
starting point. From there on we will follow a step-by-step to other
European countries with the final plan to have a strong and sound
structure in Europe that will work towards the goals of Free

We will be looking for other people with a firm GNU and Free Software
awareness especially in France, the U.K. and Spain as our first step
of becoming truly European. If you feel you should be contacted and we
haven't done so already, don't despair. You might consider getting in
touch with us, but please bear in mind that being part of this
organization requires a relatively high level of commitment and
establishing the necessary level of trust into each other is a slow

We intend to do things right as a flawed approach might reap hideous
results. If you want to help us, feel free to get in touch with us at


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