Civil society organisations urge EU not to delay development of a Council of Europe Treaty on AI

A coalition of eight civil society organisations has issued a joint statement following the Council of Europe’s Committee on Artificial Intelligence’s (CAI) second meeting (held in September 2022). During the session, members of the committee began the negotiations on the zero draft framework of a Council of Europe’s (CoE) binding convention on artificial intelligence (AI), human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

The signatories expressed their disappointment with what they perceived as the EU’s efforts to delay the process of developing the binding treaty on AI. The statement urged the EU to reconsider its position of, essentially, ‘suspending the participation of the EU states in the CAI process…while the EU sorts out its participation in this matter’, while acknowledging the potential overlap of the CoE Convention and the EU’s draft AI Act.

It should be noted that the session was a closed-door meeting, and that currently the zero draft has yet to be made publicly available.