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September 2021

National strategies on Artificial Intelligence: A European perspective, 2021 edition

The European Commission published a new report that takes stock of national strategies on Artificial Intelligence and provides suggestions for future developments. The recently published National strategies on Artificial Intelligence - A European perspective sets concrete proposals and recommendations for further joint actions between the EU and Member States in order to strengthen EU’s competitiveness in the global AI landscape.

The review of national strategies is one of the tasks of AI Watch launched by the European Commission to support the implementation of the Coordinated Plan on AI. Building on the 2020 AI Watch review of national strategies, this report presents an updated review of national AI strategies from the EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland 
and was presented during a recent joint webinar with the OECD.

By June 2021, 20 Member States and Norway had published their national AI strategies, while 7 Member States were in the final drafting phase. Since the 2020 release of the AI Watch report, additional Member States - i.e. Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, and Spain - published their strategies, while Cyprus, Finland and Germany have revised their initial strategies.

This year’s update focuses on areas of cooperation for:

  • strengthening AI education and skills;
  • supporting research and innovation to drive AI developments into successful products and services, improving collaboration and networking;
  • creating a regulatory framework to address the ethics and trustworthiness of AI systems;
  • establishing a cutting-edge data ecosystem and ICT infrastructure.

Additionally, an important aspect covered in the report are initiatives tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and sustainability issues, such as environmental protection and climate change, proposed in the recently published or updated national strategies.

The report also provides an overview of the national competence centres in AI research and presents policies to promote data access and sharing as well as actions to stimulate the use of AI in public services. It also highlights country initiatives on regulatory sandboxes to allow experimentation in real-life conditions while reducing burdens to test innovations.

The collection of AI policies is conducted jointly by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the OECD Digital Economy Policy Division, while the analyses presented in this report are carried out by the JRC, with contributions from the OECD. Both institutions joined forces to ensure that the AI Watch and the OECD AI Policy Observatory provide harmonised and up to date information. This report is informed by the EC-OECD database of national AI policies, validated by Member States’ representatives, and it demonstrates the importance of working closely with relevant stakeholders to share lessons learned, good practices and challenges when shaping AI policies.     

Read the AI Watch 2021 Report

Click here for more information and to view AI Policies by country, or to send your feedback to the EC.

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