Central Europe wants to be heard in developing regulation on AI

For the first time in history, the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic invited representatives of 19 employers' associations and artificial intelligence platforms from ten Central and Eastern European countries to a roundtable in Prague. At the AI Challengers event, they discussed together on the topic of artificial intelligence and plans for its development in the EU, and in particular on joint actions in this area. They sent their recommendations on possible regulation of this sector to the European Commission. As a result of this meeting, the Confederation of Industry deepened cooperation with partners from Central and Eastern Europe in order to coordinate common positions on the development of the digital agenda in the EU. Thanks to cooperation with the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, the meeting took place in a historical building of the Hrzánský Palace.

Nowadays, the day-to-day functioning of society and individuals is based on the use of artificial intelligence. It is also becoming one of the priority topics of most professional associations in Europe, as well as the new European Commission which will issue a plan for the development and possible regulation of artificial intelligence in the form of a White Paper on the 19th February. The planned regulation of this sector can significantly affect the competitiveness of European businesses and the economic development of the European region.

Therefore, the Confederation of Industry decided to launch a discussion on the needs of the businesses and academic sphere of Central and Eastern Europe in order to fully exploit the potential of artificial intelligence in practice and present the outputs to the European Commission. Representatives of employers' unions and artificial intelligence platforms from Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Croatia accepted the invitation to the meeting in Prague. “Today's meeting is a key milestone in the cooperation of the CEE region in the area of artificial intelligence technologies. I am convinced that our region has a lot to say and its contribution to the whole European Union is indispensable,” said Milena Jabůrková, Vice-President of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic in her opening speech.

This first meeting initiated future regional cooperation in AI and new technologies. The participants informed each other about the current state of artificial intelligence in their countries and they exchanged views and good experiences. Together they also discussed possible approaches on how to regulate AI development and new technologies. It should effectively protect the privacy, security and rights of European citizens while supporting the development and use of artificial intelligence in practice. In a joint statement, the representatives of 17 associations issued five main recommendations for the development of AI, which were subsequently sent to the Members of the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament.