12 Dec, 2023

AI Act: First EU regulation on artificial intelligence

Last week, European negotiators reached an agreement on the AI Act, paving the way for the world’s first horizontal regulation on artificial intelligence (AI). 

The AI Act outlines a framework for safe and responsible use of AI systems, respecting the fundamental rights and values of the European Union, whilst leaving space for innovative European companies in a developing single market for AI. 

The deal strikes a careful balance between legal clarity and harmonised enforcement, and careful and proportional use of AI’s potential.  

Renew Europe secured a number of priorities in the compromise, such as clear rules on foundation models and general purpose AI, focus on stronger governance and enforcement, and a ban on predictive policing. 

"We are the first in the world to set in place real regulation for AI, and for the future digital world driven by AI, guiding the development and evolution of this technology in a human-centric direction. The AI Act sets rules for high-risk AI systems, protecting the health, safety, and fundamental rights of everybody in the EU,” said co-rapporteur Dragoş Tudorache MEP (REPER, RO). 

“But it does more than that. It sets rules for large powerful AI models, ensuring they don't present systemic risks to the Union. It offers strong safeguards for our citizens and our democracies against any abuses of technology by public authorities. It protects our SMEs, and it strengthens our capacity to innovate and to lead in the field of AI. And it protects vulnerable sectors of our economy.” 

ALDE Party Vice-President Svenja Hahn MEP (FDP, DE), shadow rapporteur for the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, added: "After several days of Trilogue negotiations, we agreed on an AI Act that sets innovation-friendly rules for artificial intelligence throughout the European single market.” 

“The agreement on General Purpose AI (GPAI) is extremely important for European companies to be able to build safe systems. Moreover, we are giving innovative European AI companies the space they need to play in the first league of innovation.” 

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