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LYMEC Responds to the Provisional Agreement on the EU's AI Act

On Friday, 8 December 2023, following intense trilogue discussions between the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission, EU decision-makers agreed on a provisional compromise for the EU's first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act.

The EU’s AI Act is foreseen to be the world’s first exhaustive set of rules to govern AI and could serve as a benchmark for other regions looking to pass similar laws.

As a longstanding champion of safeguarding digital freedoms and promoting online transparency, LYMEC welcomes many of the steps taken and agreed upon at the trilogue level - including new benchmark obligations for "high-impact" general purpose AI (GPAI) systems such as ChatGPT and its maker OpenAI. We also recognise that some actions taken do not go nearly far enough in protecting essential liberal freedoms. These include the failure to ban real-time biometric identification, a necessary step if we wish to avoid the potential identification, misuse and sharing of biometric data by authoritarian governments.

In line with our Policy Book (see Res. 2.13), LYMEC is adamant about the need to have effective checks and balances which avoid the prospect of misusing data and unwarrantedly targeting individuals or groups with facial recognition technologies.

Following the announcement, Former LYMEC President and current RENEW Europe Shadow Rapporteur for the legislative file, MEP Svenja Hahn, remarked: "In 38 hours of negotiations over three days, we were able to prevent massive overregulation of AI innovation and safeguard rule of law principles in the use of AI in law enforcement. Overall, I wanted to see more openness to innovation and an even stronger commitment to civil rights."

With the issue of AI likely to grow in the coming months as the EU gears up for the 2024 European elections - elections that many analysts predict will see record-breaking levels of online disinformation and deep fakes - LYMEC is already preparing both policy responses and online workshops where our members will be trained on how to navigate this new digital environment and avoid falling victim to fake news.

Recognising the threats and opportunities posed by AI, LYMEC will continue to monitor and study the contents of these files cautiously. Just as with other digital legislative files, such as the EU Child Sexual Abuse Mechanism (CSAM) and the Digital Services Act (DSA), LYMEC will continue to look at the facts and focus on advocating for common-sense solutions which protect fundamental rights and do not threaten to stifle positive economic innovation or the EU’s overall competitiveness.

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