European Union AI Strategy

Communication on Artificial Intelligence (2018)

Overview of the strategy

The European Union’s strategy creates a framework for development with seven areas of focus:

1. Investment in AI

– Target investment of EUR 20 billion per year by the Union, public, and private over the next decade
-The Union Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe programs to invest at least EUR 1 billion per year between 2021-2027
– Remove barriers that might create a fragmented market and strengthen key enablers like common standards

2. Encourage collaboration between research organizations and companies as well as increase financing for start-ups

3. Foster collaboration among research centers and invest in research at the EU level to prevent duplication

4. Member states will share best practices on how to retain a talented workforce while the EU will fund master’s and PhDs

5. Clarify data protection law when it comes to research in AI to help increase trust. Create common European data spaces and pool resources to build the next supercomputers used to train AI

6. Create an AI ethics guideline

7. Increase understanding of how AI can enhance the security sector, be protected from security threats, and how AI can be used for malicious purposes. 

Data governance in the strategy

  • Does the AI plan mention data governance?


  • Does the AI plan discuss open public data?

Yes; the strategy states the Commission is taking action to make data sharing easier and to open up more data for re-use. This includes data from the public sector in particular. A new support center for data sharing will provide public authorities and companies with legal and technical support when trying to access data from public sector bodies and companies. 

  • Does the AI plan discuss proprietary data?

Yes; the strategy states public policy should also encourage the wider availability of privately-held data, while ensuring full respect for legislation on the protection of personal data. The Commission calls on companies to recognize the importance of non-personal data re-use, including for AI training purposes. 

  • Does the AI plan discuss personal data?

Yes; the strategy lays out that the GDPR will be the main regulation to protect personal data and that clarifying data protection law for research in AI is needed.

  • Does the AI plan discuss the mixing of data (hybrid)?


  • Has the government consulted with the public on its AI strategy?

No; however, The Joint Research Center has held a workshopto reach stakeholders on the issue of data governance.