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EU: Council adopts position on AI Act

The Council of the European Union announced, on 6 December 2022, the adoption of its general approach on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Laying Down Harmonised Rules on Artificial Intelligence ('the AI Act'). In particular, the Council outlined that the AI Act is a key element of the EU's policy to foster the development and uptake across the single market of safe and lawful artificial intelligence ('AI') that respects fundamental rights.

In addition, the Council reminded that the AI Act:

  • follows a risk-based approach;
  • lays down a uniform and horizontal legal framework for AI that aims to ensure legal certainty;
  • promotes investment and innovation in AI;
  • enhances governance and effective enforcement of existing law on fundamental rights and safety; and
  • facilitates the development of a single market for AI applications.

Further to the above, the Council provided that the general approach introduces amendments to the text of the AI Act as proposed by the European Commission, including the definition of 'AI system' under Article 3(1) of the AI Act, which is narrowed down to systems developed through machine learning approaches and logic-and knowledge-based approaches.

Separately, the Czech Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalisation and Minister of Regional Development, Ivan Bartoš, stated that, "[AI] is of paramount importance for our future. Today, we managed to achieve a delicate balance which will boost innovation and uptake of [AI] technology across Europe. With all the benefits it presents, on the one hand, and full respect of the fundamental rights of our citizens, on the other."

Moreover, the Council explained that the adoption of its general approach will allow it to enter into negotiations with the European Parliament, once the latter adopts its own position, with a view to reaching a final agreement.

You can read the press release here and the general approach here.