Spain promotes cooperation and regulatory convergence on AI between Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean

News - 2023.11.17

  • x: opens new window
  • Whatsapp: opens new window
  • Linkedin: opens new window
  • Send: opens new window

Spain has hosted the 4th European Assembly of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Alliance within the framework of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU, an event that culminated in the signing of a declaration to strengthen and advance cooperation in AI with countries in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The declaration, promoted by the Spanish presidency at a crucial moment for the development and regulation of AI worldwide, has been signed by Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay, Panama, Dominican Republic, Germany, Slovenia, Estonia, Belgium and Spain.

These countries commit to advance cooperation, reinforcement and convergence of AI policies and regulatory frameworks in the coming months, ahead of the 2025 Colombia Summit.

The agreement was reached during the 4th European Assembly of the AI Alliance in Madrid in a closed-door parallel session chaired by the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence, Carme Artigas, in which the European Commission and UNESCO also took part.

Cooperation, linguistic inclusion and regulatory convergence on AI

The text of the declaration includes a commitment by states to promote the exchange of best practices, regulatory measures and guidelines, including governance mechanisms established around AI regulation. In the case of EU countries, it encompasses the scope of application of the future regulation on AI being promoted by Spain in the framework of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU.

Signatory states will also encourage the development of AI in a linguistically diverse environment, including Spanish, Portuguese and other official EU languages, to ensure that AI technologies lead to linguistic inclusion.

This includes a regular dialogue to exchange information with a view to advancing convergence on digital policy and regulatory frameworks on AI, while ensuring the promotion of innovation, human capital and infrastructure, always respecting human rights.

In 2021, Spain approved and presented the Charter of Digital Rights, which constitutes an international reference framework to guarantee and strengthen democratic rights and values in the new digital economy and AI.

The declaration also urges states to develop innovative testing environments and share best practices to especially help startups and innovative SMEs to create reliable AI.

On 7 November, the Council of Ministers approved a Royal Decree authorising the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, in collaboration with the European Commission, to open a call for companies to take part in the controlled testing environment (sandbox) of the European AI Regulation.

Europe has been working for months on this new standard, the European AI Regulation, which will provide the EU with a legislative framework to promote reliable, robust and ethical AI, establishing obligations for providers and users based on the level of risk of use cases.

The AI regulation is one of the priorities on the agenda of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU. The text is currently at the trilogue stage, and the Spanish presidency hopes that it can be finalised and approved before the end of the year.

EU-LAC Digital Alliance

Last July, the EU-CELAC Summit in Santiago de Compostela agreed to establish the EU-LAC Digital Alliance with four key pillars of cooperation between the two regions on the two sides of the Atlantic: the extension of the BELLA-Link submarine cable, the creation of Copernicus data platforms for earth observation, the creation of accelerators and the convergence and reinforcement of digital policies and regulatory frameworks.

The initialling of the declaration marks a significant step for the EU-LAC Digital Alliance, concluding the joint commitment of Europe and its international partners to advance harmonised and responsible regulation of AI, respecting human values and fostering innovation.

4th European AI Assembly: Europe, a leader in AI development

By holding the 4th European AI Assembly in Madrid in Spain, Europe and its international partners have reaffirmed their leading role in shaping a more reliable and sustainable digital future, marking a milestone in the global regulation of AI.

This event, jointly organised by the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation through its Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence (SEDIA) and the European Commission (DG Connect), has served as a key forum to outline the future of AI in Europe and its global influence.

Acting First Vice-President and Minister for the Economy and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, and European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, opened the assembly, highlighting Spain's and the EU's commitment to leading the adoption of reliable and ethical AI technologies. Breton, for his part, announced an important milestone for Europe in this field: the opening of supercomputing capabilities in Europe (Euro HPC) to European AI startups.

The Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence, who hosted the event, took part in a panel discussion on the AI regulation together with Brando Benifei and Dragoș Tudorache, Members of the European Parliament. The debate highlighted the urgency and relevance of the imminent AI regulation, a significant step towards the creation of a robust and harmonised regulatory framework for AI in Europe, which will also be the first regulation of its kind in the world.

The assembly also focused on the analysis of various emerging policy and legislative initiatives in the international arena, presenting a unique opportunity to discuss the upcoming Council of Europe Convention on AI and other important bilateral and multilateral partnerships in which the EU and Spain are actively involved. The discussions have emphasised the need for a coordinated and coherent approach to AI regulation at the global level.

Participants also addressed the overall progress made with the EU AI Strategy, including specific ongoing initiatives concerning AI Test and Experimentation Facilities (TEFs), AI EDIHs (AI Digital Innovation Hubs) and AI PPPs (AI Public-Private Partnerships).

The latest developments and perspectives on generative AI models, green AI and AI for cybersecurity were also discussed.

The assembly took place at a key moment for the development of AI at a global level, coinciding with the announcements of different initiatives such as the creation of the Advisory Council for the Secretary General of the UN on AI, which will be co-chaired by the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence, Carme Artigas; the IA Safety Summit and the adoption of the G7 Code of Conduct.

Non official translation