Our Mission Statement

APELL (Association Professionnelle Européenne du Logiciel Libre) is Europe’s Open Source Business Association. Founded in 2020 to bring national Open Source Software (‘OSS’) organisations together into a European network to provide them with peer support and collective marketing, as well as capacity building and policy support for public affairs, both nationally and on the EU-level.

APELL aims to increase opportunities for the members of the Association’s member organisations, and to increase value and advancement for the ultimate customers in both the public and the private sectors. At the same time, we see a real need to bring the Open Source perspective into the discussions on the shaping of Europe’s digital future.

We support the digitisation of the economy and society — but it matters how we digitise. APELL promotes a sovereign, inclusive, ethical digital market. In order to achieve this, Europe’s digital future should be based on Open.

AWARENESS – to promote public awareness and understanding both of OSS and of OSS-related business entities.

ADVOCACY – to raise awareness and generate policies that create an environment conducive to the development of OSS-related businesses in Europe, by promoting the OSS business ecosystem, its software and services offerings and its specific strengths.

REPRESENTATION – to represent and defend the professional fields of OSS and open digital technology in Europe.

EMPOWERMENT – to ensure that the Association’s member organisations are better empowered and supported to be active in the European public policy arena, and are provided with opportunities and channels to do so effectively.

ENGAGEMENT – to work closely with the Association’s partners and relevant stakeholders in the field, to ensure that a complete spectrum of OSS-related businesses in Europe is represented and considered in policy and decision-making.


Why was APELL founded?

Our experience in the last decade has signaled that EU policy makers and administrations need a body representing Open Source businesses, in order to fully appreciate their role in achieving the goals set out in their digital policy strategies.

The EU needs competence from open source businesses in both Open Source-specific efforts such as creating a sound Open Source strategy and policy, as well as understanding the potential of Open Source on the strategic and geo-political level.

Recent developments pertaining to specific legislative efforts, the market’s mainstreaming Open Source, as well as a general increase of political interest means that it is the right time to form a European Business organisation for Open Source business.

We are now here and open for discussion.


Board Members

Astor Nummelin Carlberg

Astor Nummelin Carlberg is a co-founder of APELL and member of the Management Board.

astor (a) openforumeurope.org

Peter Ganten

Peter Ganten is a co-founder of APELL and member of the Management Board.

ganten (a) osb-alliance.com

Stéfane Fermigier

Stéfane Fermigier is a co-founder of APELL and member of the Management Board.

sf (a) fermigier.com

Timo Väliharju

Timo Väliharju is a co-founder of APELL and member of the Management Board.

timo.valiharju (a) coss.fi


The Association's values are:

Trustworthiness and transparency

We will be open, honest and ethical in all we do.

Respect and democracy

We respect one another’s differences and contributions.


We will make best use of our resources to bring about changes that produce permanent benefits for our members and society, and will plan our activities to ensure APELL’s future.


In the spirit of openness and community, we aim to gather in the APELL Library as many papers as possible with reference to the open source software and hardware domain.


There are three categories of APELL members

Full Voting Members

Voting Members are open to all National Open Source Business Associations in Europe. In the case of any country where no specific national Open Source business association exists, a VMmay also be an international organisation which includes European members or a regional organisation.

The annual fee to be a full voting member of APELL is 1500 EUR.

Advisory Voting Members

Advisory Voting Members, although not Open Source business associations of any kind, can become a member if it is generally respected for its competence on OSS-related issues and can make a substantial advisory contribution to APELL. AVMs must be invited by the Board of APELL to apply for admission.

Associate Members

This category is open to any other national Open Source business association, whether or not that country is in Europe, is not in a position to incur liability for (or to commit to pay) full membership fees to apply for admission as an Associate Member.
In addition, the Board may at its discretion invite any individual or organisation, wherever located, who or which is recognised for the outstanding support they have provided to furthering the aims and objectives of the Association to apply for admission as an Associate Member.

Each APELL voting member shall be entitled to be represented on APELL’s Management Board. Associate Members may be invited by the Board to nominate an Observer to attend the Association’s annual General Assembly meeting.


APELL membership is open for all National Free and Open Source Business Associations

Apply for membership.


COSS – the Finnish Centre for Open Systems and Solutions is a non-profit association that promotes open source, open data, open standards and APIs. Internationally COSS is known as one of the oldest and most active centres for openness.

COSS operation is based on far-reaching cooperation, communication and creating networks.

The objective of COSS is to strengthen the competitiveness of Finland’s software intensive industries, promote the growth and internationalization of open source businesses and reinforce the development of the Finnish information society with the support of open technologies and communities.

The CNLL (France’s Free Software and Open Digital Enterprise Union) is a trade association representing about 200 “pure players” companies (specialized or with a significant activity in free software): open source software vendors, systems integrators, consulting companies, etc. The CNLL’s main missions are to represent the OSS professional ecosystem to public authorities and existing national and international organizations, to ensure greater visibility of the entire ecosystem – its software and service offer, its specific assets and its needs, particularly in terms of employment and training; to enable the players in the sector to recognize themselves within it, to exchange and work together to develop the market, while respecting common values. www.cnll.fr

The Open Source Business Alliance e.V. is a German non-profit that operates Europe’s biggest network of companies and organizations developing, building and using open source software.

The goal of the OSB Alliance is the continued strengthening of confidence of industry and management in open-source software. The organization makes use of various instruments such as: cooperation projects, networking, marketing and public relations.

The Open Source Business Alliance pursues its work focused on interoperability, open standards, open-source software, heterogeneous solutions, business development, OpenStack and Open Cloud.

Open Source Sweden is an industry association that supports the interests of Swedish Open Source companies.

We seek to maintain the interests of Swedish companies dedicated to supplying Open Source products, development and services.

Our mission is to stimulate a healthy market for Software through the development, provision, and support of products and services based on Open Source Software and Open Standards.

Associação De Empresas De Software Open Source Portuguesas – ESOP is a corporate association that represents Portuguese companies dedicated to software development and services provision, based on Open Source solutions.

Its members add a wide range of skills, able to intervene in the most diverse scenarios of professional services: from small and medium to large companies, and associations to public administration.

ESOP actively advocates and promotes the concepts of Open Software, Interoperability, Open Standards and Independence of Technology Platforms.

We harness the power of collaboration around Open Technology being open source software, open source hardware and open data, in the UK.

Collaboration is central to everything we do and we use it to bring together business, public sector and community in the UK to collaborate locally and globally.

OpenUK advocates for Open Technology being open source software, open source hardware and open data, “Open” in and for business communities across the UK.

OpenUK’s Purpose is to develop and sustain UK leadership in Open Technology.

The NLUUG is the association of (professional) Open Systems and Open Standards users in the Netherlands. Since the late seventies, the NLUUG has brought together the community of systems administrators, developers, researchers and network professionals. The primary goal of the NLUUG is to extend the application of, and knowledge about, open systems and open standards.

RIOS is a network of companies created to promote professional services and Open Source products, offering high level solutions. RIOS represents a reference point in Italy for anyone who wants to exploit the benefits of Open Source with the security, stability, support and guarantee of Enterprise level solutions. The network is made up of 9 companies, among the main ones in the sector, which share experience and resources, ensuring services and solutions that are simple and advantageous to use, guaranteeing qualified support.

Advisory Member

OFE is an independent, not-for-profit think tank providing innovative thinking and comment on key aspects of Digital/ICT within a core competence of ‘openness’.

Its focus is on Brussels, where it maintains a full time office providing policy analysis, advice and input not only to its supporters, but with the European Commission, Council and Parliament.

OFE draws its support both from global suppliers from industry, from local SME and community organisations, and through its participation in projects. OFE is also supported by its global network (some 60+ strong) of OpenForum Academy Fellows, each peer-appointed and drawn from both academia and operational practice, who collectively represent the best in innovative thinking within key areas of interest.


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