Europe’s Digital Agenda: Is the AI Act the Final Act? In Search of Common Principles

International conference

Over the past five years the European Union legislature has passed a flurry of ambitious directives and regulations dealing with various aspects of Europe’s digital economy: the Digital Single Market (DSM) Directive (2019), the Open Data Directive (2019), the Data Governance Act (2022), the Digital Services Act (2022), the Digital Market Act (2022), and the Data Act (2023). The Artificial Intelligence Act is soon to follow.

While these legal instruments touch upon different legal domains, ranging from intellectual property law, freedom of government information and data protection to media regulation, competition law, and consumer protection, there is considerable overlap – and increasing confusion about their reach and scope, the new governance structures they establish, and their underlying policies.

The forthcoming AI Act is exemplary. If adopted, it will introduce a ban on high-risk AI technologies, establish far reaching transparency measures, demand human oversight, prohibit misleading uses of AI, create new supervisory authorities, and enhance protection of human creators against being “trained” by LLM’s.

This international conference – the first of its kind – searches for common principles and doctrines in Europe’s Digital Agenda, and queries what will be the EU’s next step – if any – in its regulatory adventure in the digital field. It will also compare Europe’s Digital Agenda to developments in the United States and look at the impact of the new European rules on enterprises in the ICT sector in Europe, particularly start-ups.