European Centre for Algorithmic Transparency

Acronym: ECAT

Established: 2022

Address: Seville, Spain


Stakeholder group: International and regional organisation

The European Centre for Algorithmic Transparency (ECAT) was created by the European Commission in 2022 with the goal to ‘contribute to a safer, more predictable and trusted online environment for people and business’.

The centre contributes scientific and technical expertise to the European Commission’s supervisory and enforcement role of the system obligations on very large online platforms and very large online search engines, as outlined in the EU Digital Services Act. More specifically, ECAT’s activities cover three main areas:

  • Platform assessment and investigations (e.g. conducting technical tests on algorithmic systems to better understand their functioning; analysing transparency reports, risk assessments, and independent audits);
  • Scientific research and foresight (e.g. identifying and measuring systemic risks associated to very large online platforms and very large online search engines; evaluating risk mitigation measures; studying the societal impact of algorithms).
  • Networking and community building (e.g. acting as a knowledge hub for research, sharing scientific findings and best practices).

The ECAT is part of the European Commission, hosted by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) – the Commission’s in-house science and knowledge service – in close cooperation with the Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DC CONNECT).