AI Act clears final hurdle 


  • EU member states adopt AI regulation for Europe
  • Wintergerst: “We must leave room for AI innovations that serve people.”

Berlin, May 21, 2024 - The EU member states want to adopt the AI Act in the Council of Ministers today. Once published, the AI Act could come into force as early as the end of June or beginning of July. Companies will have to comply with the first rules just 6 months later. Bitkom President Dr. Ralf Wintergerst explains:

"With today's decision, the AI Act clears the final formal hurdle. Europe is thus providing an EU-wide regulatory framework for artificial intelligence, and the AI Act is directly applicable law in Germany.  However, the AI Act leaves key questions unanswered, and the regulatory work in Germany and the other EU countries is only just beginning. Whether AI receives a boost in Germany and Europe or is faced with new obstacles will depend crucially on how this framework is designed and how the regulations are implemented in Germany. We must leave room for AI innovations that serve people. The aim must be to promote the use of AI in business, administration and society. Only 13% of companies are using AI, while a further 33% are planning or discussing it. The implementation of the AI Act must ensure that AI is successfully developed and used extensively in Germany. This requires practical assistance from the authorities, among other things.

The EU Commission also has a role to play. It must quickly set up the announced AI Office and start implementing the requirements for general purpose AI models. As these are due to come into effect as early as the middle of next year, it is particularly important that the regulation for these basic AI models is designed to be low-bureaucracy and practical. This also applies to the other directives that now need to be drawn up. It is important to avoid double regulation and create lasting legal certainty.

The German government must present a proposal for a national implementation law in a timely manner so that companies know what to expect. At the same time, the national regulatory corset must not be too tight. At the same time, urgent questions such as the need for a central supervisory authority and its staffing and financial resources must be answered."