Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly calls for legally binding instrument to govern AI

The Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution and a recommendation outlining the need for democratic governance of artificial intelligence (AI). Noting that self-regulatory ethical principles and policies voluntarily introduced by private actors are not sufficient to regulate AI, the Assembly strongly believes that there is a need to create a cross-cutting regulatory framework for AI with specific principles based on the protection of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. It then calls on states to work together towards a legally binding instrument aimed at ensuring democratic governance of AI. Such a legal framework should have an independent and proactive oversight mechanism, involving all relevant stakeholders, to guarantee effective compliance with its provisions (Resolution 2341 (2020)). The Assembly also recommends that the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers supports the elaboration of a legally binding instrument governing AI, possibly in the form of a convention. The Committee should also ensure that such an instrument is based on a comprehensive approach, deals with the whole life cycle of AI-based systems, is addressed to all stakeholders, and includes mechanisms to ensure its implementation (Recommendation 2181 (2020)).