The EU project OpenWebSearch.eu has successfully mastered the first phase. In the next steps, it is now important to explore how the Open Web Index (OWI) can be operated as a public infrastructure in the long term. This involves political support, funding models and governance structures.
The most important basic requirements for an Open Web Index are long-term funding, an organisational form that supports the European legal framework and the support of policymakers. Under the leadership of the Open Search Foundation, the OpenWebSearch.eu community has developed ideas and strategies and derived demands for policy from them. The results have been incorporated into a policy paper aimed at political decision-makers. The position paper is now publicly available.
It explains why the European Union needs a digital infrastructure like the Open Web Index and how society will benefit from it. And it lists the steps that policymakers need to take to ensure that such an infrastructure can be built and sustained. Such steps include a funding model supported by public money from the EU and member states and an organisational form that creates the conditions for democratic control.
The OpenWebSearch.eu community calls on the EU Member States and the European Commission to establish a European Digital Infrastructure Consortium (EDIC) and to provide funding for it in the next multi-annual financial framework. This is an essential step towards an EU programme for a European Open Web Index and Web Analytics in the coming years.
You can download the full policy paper here: