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European approach to artificial intelligence

The European Union’s strategy for artificial intelligence (AI) is centered on fostering excellence and trust, with the goal of enhancing research and industrial capabilities while safeguarding safety and fundamental rights. This approach underscores the importance of shaping a future where AI benefits both individuals and businesses, promoting a resilient Europe for the Digital Decade.

The EU's AI strategy, launched to position the EU as a global leader in AI, emphasizes human-centric and trustworthy AI. This commitment is manifested through concrete regulations and initiatives, including the AI package unveiled by the Commission in April 2021. This package encompasses a comprehensive communication on fostering a European approach to AI, a review of the Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence with EU Member States, and a regulatory framework proposal on AI, accompanied by relevant impact assessments.

Moreover, in January 2024, the Commission introduced the AI innovation package aimed at supporting AI startups and SMEs. This package includes various measures to foster the development of trustworthy AI that adheres to EU values and regulations. One notable initiative within this package is the "GenAI4EU," designed to promote the adoption of generative AI across strategic industrial ecosystems within the Union.

The EU's commitment to excellence in AI involves enabling its development and adoption, nurturing an environment where AI can flourish, ensuring its societal benefits, and fostering strategic leadership in key sectors. To achieve these goals, the Commission and Member States are collaborating on policy frameworks and investments, with significant funding allocated through programs like Horizon Europe and Digital Europe.

Ensuring trust in AI is another cornerstone of the EU's approach, achieved through legal initiatives aimed at upholding fundamental rights, addressing safety risks, and revising liability frameworks to suit the digital age. The proposed European legal framework for AI aims to set global standards while providing clarity to developers, deployers, and users by categorizing AI systems based on risk levels and introducing specific rules for general-purpose AI models. This comprehensive approach underscores the EU's commitment to promoting AI excellence and trust while safeguarding the rights and safety of its citizens.

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