EU countries discuss the development of Artificial Intelligence legislation

On October 14, EU Telecommunications Ministers held their first in-depth policy debate on the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act, to provide political guidance for further work on this complex proposal.

The discussion focused on the Act’s regulatory design and the challenges involved in its effective implementation.

"Ministers today voiced their clear support for one comprehensive law on artificial intelligence, which would serve as a model across the globe, in the same vein as the general data protection regulation, GDPR, in the area of protection of personal data. There is still substantial work ahead, as we want to make sure that the Artificial Intelligence Act will achieve its twin aims of ensuring safety and respect for fundamental rights and stimulating the development and uptake of AI-based technology in all sectors. The Slovenian presidency will continue the intense work on this proposal, which it considers a top priority in the digital area", said Boštjan Koritnik, Slovenian Minister for Public Administration and chair of the meeting. 

Ministers strongly advocated continuing to work towards establishing a horizontal and human-centric regulatory framework for AI, as proposed by the Commission, to ensure legal certainty and consistency for developers and users. Some delegations mentioned the need to ensure consistency with related rules set in other legislation.

Delegations welcomed the risk-based approach of the proposal, but indicated that many issues require further discussion, in particular regarding the scope of the Act, law enforcement aspects and definitions of key terms. Clarity on these was considered essential for legal certainty and smooth implementation of the Act.

Discussions on the proposal will continue in the Council’s telecommunications working party. The presidency aims to present a compromise proposal in November.

Commission launches EU missions to tackle major challenges including floods

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PSCE welcomes the European Commission's launch of five new EU missions, a new and innovative way to work together and improve the lives of people in Europe and beyond. 

On september 29, the Commission launched 5 new EU missions, including a mission to accelerate the Adaptation to Climate Change. The five missions, a novelty from Horizon Europe, will aim to deliver solutions to key global challenges by 2030. The EU missions aim to tackle big challenges in health, climate and the environment, and to achieve ambitious and inspiring goals in these areas. 

The Adaptation to Climate Change mission plans to make available €100 million for large-scale demonstrations to address major climate induced hazards, such as flooding, fitted to local circumstances.

Missions are a new collaborative approach to tackle some of the main challenges of our times. They provide a mandate to achieve specific goals in a set timeframe. They will also deliver impact by putting research and innovation into a new role, combined with new forms of governance and collaboration, as well as with a new way of engaging with citizens, including young people.

PSCE has developed a Communication pledging to mitigate the effects of climate change through climate adaptation. Our community is engaged in knowledge-sharing on climate change and adaptation, improvement of adaptation of strategies and plans, fostering disaster-risk reduction and reduce overall climate-related risk.

We are engaged in a number of projects and activities currently assessing technologies capable to leverage first responders' capabilities and increase situational awareness to minimise disasters and its impact.

Parliament votes against the use of AI for biometric surveillance by the police

On October 6, the European Parliament voted by 377 in favour, 248 against and 62 abstentions to forbid biometric surveillance through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by the police.

MEPs pointed to the risk of algorithmic bias in AI applications and emphasise that human supervision and strong legal powers are needed to prevent discrimination by AI, especially in a law enforcement or border-crossing context.

Human operators must always make the final decisions and subjects monitored by AI-powered systems must have access to remedy, say MEPs.

“Fundamental rights are unconditional. For the first time ever, we are calling for a moratorium on the deployment of facial recognition systems for law enforcement purposes, as the technology has proven to be ineffective and often leads to discriminatory results. We are clearly opposed to predictive policing based on the use of AI as well as any processing of biometric data that leads to mass surveillance. This is a huge win for all European citizens,” said MEP rapporteur Rapporteur Petar Vitanov.

Satellites for public safety to be discussed during PSCE-ESA workshop  


Artist s impression of the Eutelsat Konnect satellite pillars

On November 9, Public Safety Communication Europe (PSCE) together with the European Space Agency (ESA) is holding an open workshop to introduce interested stakeholders to ESA’s Space Systems for Safety and Security (4s) programme. The event will be the occasion to show the results of two studies carried out to identify end-users needs for satellite in the public safety domain.

Programme and registration available here:

International Cybersecurity Forum to boost cooperation in the field

The International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC), the leading European event on Cybersecurity, is happening until 9 September. The event, which started on 7 September, features a trade show for buyers and suppliers of cybersecurity solutions to meet and network and a Forum to foster reflection and exchanges among the European #cybersecurity ecosystem.

After a 2020 edition that highlighted the key role of Human beings in cybersecurity, the FIC 2021 will focus on the major operational, industrial, technological, and strategic challenges of cooperation. To overcome them, the FIC undertakes:

  1. To bring together an ever-broader ecosystem
  2. To accelerate the development of the industry and the European cybersecurity market by becoming its reference marketplace
  3. To strengthen the role of innovation, more particularly in the field of Artificial Intelligence
  4. To propose high-level content with an ever-greater variety of themes
  5. To further increase its international focus and European importance
  6. To adopt a phygital approach that will enable to combine physical and virtual realities and offer an «augmented» FIC.

Read the FIC’s programme here