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The Grand Committee issues a statement on the harmonised regulation of artificial intelligence

Published 11/19/2021 3:25 PM
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The Grand Committee issues a statement on the harmonised regulation of artificial intelligence

​Today, the Grand Committee decided on Parliament's position on the government communications on the European Commission's proposal for harmonised regulation of artificial intelligence (Artificial Intelligence Act) and the European approach to artificial intelligence.

The Grand Committee received statements from six special committees and consulted experts itself. The Grand Committee unanimously approved the position of Parliament.

In its statement, the Grand Committee discusses the key negotiating objectives guiding the activities of the Government and agrees with the Government's position on the matter.

Like the Government, the Grand Committee supports the Commission's goal of creating a common European approach to artificial intelligence. The EU should have a holistic vision of what it wants to achieve with digitalisation and artificial intelligence. It is important for the EU's competitiveness that the EU creates an environment conducive to the development and use of artificial intelligence. The EU's strength in digitalisation is the emphasis put on trust, with people at the centre. Based on its values, the EU must strive to be a global leader in safety and protection of fundamental rights in the use of artificial intelligence, the Grand Committee argues.

The Grand Committee also supports the goal of creating an ecosystem of trust through the AI Regulation, which will promote the responsible development, placing on the market and deployment of AI in Europe. EU regulation is needed to prevent market fragmentation. Balanced regulation can clarify the business environment and strengthen the competitiveness of companies. Thanks to the EU's internal market, it can also play a role in the development of regulation outside the EU, the Grand Committee estimates.

The Grand Committee supports the proposal's people-centred approach, which emphasizes the concern for fundamental rights. The proposal contains several important fundamental rights issues. Finding a regulatory balance is challenging as technology advances rapidly.

According to the proposed regulation, regulation must ensure a high level of protection of fundamental rights and respond to the risks that artificial intelligence poses to people's physical and mental health. At the same time, regulation should enable and promote the development, utilisation and use of artificial intelligence technologies and not act as a barrier to it. Finding a balance is challenging in an area where the rapid development of technology makes it difficult to identify both risks and opportunities, the Grand Committee argues.

The proposed regulation touches upon issues also regulated in other EU acts​. The Grand Committee supports the Government's goal of clarifying these relations during the negotiations.​​

The Commission has been empowered to adopt delegated acts to amend the Annexes to this regulation. It provides an opportunity to react to developments in artificial intelligence in regulation. However, the scope of the delegated power should still be assessed. The mandate is very broad and should be clarified, the Grand Committee believes. According to the EU Treaties (TFEU 290), delegated acts may supplement or amend only non-essential elements of the basic act.

The Grand Committee welcomes the fact that the draft regulation imposes an obligation on service providers to ensure, with certain exceptions, that natural persons are informed of their interaction with an artificial intelligence system, unless this is obvious from the circumstances and the context in which it is used.

The use of real-time biometric identification systems for law enforcement purposes in public places would be prohibited under the proposal. Exceptions would be situations where the use is absolutely necessary, for example, to prevent a threat to the life or physical safety of persons or a terrorist attack. The Grand Committee agrees with the Government that the use of these systems should be allowed in certain well-defined situations, taking into account fundamental and human rights.