The Brussels Side-Effect: How the AI Act Can Reduce the Global Reach of EU Policy
German Law Journal, Forthcoming
19 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2023
Date Written: June 9, 2023
Over the last few years, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have become embedded in various domains of social life, prompting legislative efforts at the national and international levels. In the European Union (EU), this drive for legislation has been reflected in various legal instruments, notably the proposed AI Act, which is expected to become a global standard through the Brussels Effect. This article argues that, while the AI Act is likely to produce a Brussels Effect of its own, such an outcome will be accompanied by a side effect: undermining the EU’s ambition of spreading not just legislative text but values in the governance of AI. Since the AI Act is patterned after EU product safety legislation, its provisions supply limited protection of some of the values EU policy intends to protect, such as the protection of fundamental rights. These shortcomings are compounded by the EU’s active efforts to shape alternative instruments, such as the Council of Europe’s proposed convention on AI, along the lines of the AI Act. As a result, the diffusion of the AI Act as a global standard will have consequences for the EU policy agenda on AI and the conceptualization of the Brussels Effect.
Keywords: artificial intelligence, European Union, Council of Europe, Brussels Effect, regulatory competition
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