Statement by EU President von der Leyen at Session III of the G20
EU chief suggests global framework for AI regulation
In a statement delivered by EU President von der Leyen during Session III of the G20 summit, titled ‘One Future’ and held on 10 September 2023 in New Delhi, several key points were addressed, underscoring the role of technology and digitalisation in shaping the future.
President von der Leyen opened her address by emphasising that the future is inevitably digital, with a significant focus on the advancement of AI and digital infrastructure. This recognition of the digital era’s dominance sets the stage for the discussion that followed.
AI at focus
The EU chief has suggested that the EU should work with its partners to develop a global framework for regulating AI.
One of the critical themes woven into President von der Leyen’s speech was the acknowledgement of AI’s dual nature. While it presents substantial opportunities for progress and innovation, it also carries inherent risks. A central question posed by the President was how to effectively harness the potential of this rapidly evolving technology while mitigating its associated challenges.
Within this context, she brought attention to the European Union’s proactive stance on AI regulation. In 2020, the EU introduced the world’s first-ever law dedicated to Artificial Intelligence. This pioneering legislation aims to strike a balance between fostering innovation and instilling trust in AI technologies. It reflects the EU’s commitment to responsible AI development.
Furthermore, President von der Leyen proposed a broader international collaboration. She suggested that Europe, along with its global partners, should collaborate in creating a new global framework for addressing AI-related risks. This framework’s primary objective would be to safeguard against systemic societal risks associated with AI and promote investments in AI systems prioritising safety and responsibility.
Shifting her focus to digital infrastructure, President von der Leyen emphasised its potential to serve as a catalyst for emerging economies. She cited India as a prime example of a nation that has experienced remarkable success in deploying Digital Public Infrastructures. This achievement highlights how such infrastructures can drive economic growth and innovation in developing regions.
In addition to India’s success story, the President mentioned a significant achievement by the European Union. The EU has developed a COVID-19 digital certificate, which has been adopted by 51 countries spanning four continents. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised it as a global standard for facilitating mobility during health crises. This innovative certificate serves as an example of how digital solutions can address real-world challenges.