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Artificial intelligence is here. It’s not going away. It can be a force for good, but it needs to be watched so carefully in terms of respect for our human fundamental rights. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency is deeply committed to this work.Our ambition is not just to ensure that AI respects our rights, but also that it protects and promotes them.
Will AI revolutionise the delivery of our public services? And what's the right balance? How is the private sector using AI to automate decisions — and what implications
might that have? Are some form of binding rules necessary to monitor and regulate the use of AI technology - and what should these rules look like?
How do we embrace progress while protecting our fundamental rights? As data-driven decision making increasingly touches our daily lives, what does this mean
for our fundamental rights? A step into the dark? Or the next giant leap? The time to answer these questions is here and now. Let’s seize the opportunities, but understand the challenges. Let’s make AI work for everyone in Europe…And get the future right.
Michael O’Flaherty
FRA Director, Michael O’Flaherty, delivers his opening remarks during the joint FRA / German Presidency of the EU online conference on 'Doing AI the European way: Protecting fundamental rights in an era of artificial intelligence' on 14 December 2020.
From tracking the spread of COVID-19 to deciding who will receive social benefits, artificial intelligence (AI) affects the lives of millions of Europeans. Automation can improve decision-making. But AI can lead to mistakes, discrimination and be hard to challenge. A new EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) report reveals confusion about the impact of AI on people’s rights. This even among organisations already using it. FRA calls on policymakers to provide more guidance on how existing rules apply to AI and ensure any future AI laws protect fundamental rights.
The EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) will hold an online webinar on policing during the pandemic.
How can we balance the importance of promoting technological, economic and social innovation with the need to protect individuals and society from its potentially harmful effects? This is one of the areas that will be explored during a high-level virtual event on 14 December on doing artificial intelligence the European way.
On 4 December, at the Annual Dialogue with the European Committee of the Regions in the Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs, FRA presented the findings from its report on the integration of young refugees.
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On 9 December, FRA held an inception meeting with the contractor developing a trainers manual on Guardianship. The manual shall provide trainers with the content and methodology they need to train appointed or future guardians on the fundamental rights of children and the role of the guardians.
On 8 December, FRA took part in the panel discussion on the use of AI in the field of criminal law. This was part of the online conference on digitalisation of justice – interconnection and innovation. The event was part of Germany's EU Council Presidency.
A workshop on 3 December looked at how to ensure the best interests of the child when monitoring forced returns that involve children. The International Centre for Migration Policy Development, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and FRA jointly organised the online workshop. It was attended by 50 people from 21 different Member States.
FRA’s Director joined the 7th Glion Human Rights Dialogue 2020 on 3 and 4 December. The high-level online event brought together over 100 human rights practitioners and experts.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic leaves a lasting mark on society worldwide. It affected everyone but some people more than others. As we look ahead, on Human Rights Day, on 10 December, we need to make the new normal a better normal. In his video message, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty underlines the need to stand up for human rights to make 2021 a better year. This means ensuring we respect and take into account everybody's human rights.
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The Agency’s Executive Board and Management Board will meet online on 10 and 11 December 2020.
FRA will take part in the presentation of results from the European Network on Independent Living’s (ENIL) first Independent Living Survey on 10 December.
On 10 December, FRA will take part in an online seminar on the human rights impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. FRA will deliver the first keynote presentation at the event, drawing on the results of its bulletins on the impact on fundamental rights of the pandemic.
FRA will speak at a roundtable in Czechia on establishing NHRIs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Government of Czechia will host the roundtable discussion.
On 9 December, the FRA Director will address the EU-NGO Human Rights Forum. This year the focus is on the impact of new technologies on human rights. The forum provides a platform to elaborate recommendations on how the EU can further foster human rights compliance in the digital sphere.
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As part of its work on civic space, every year FRA consults civil society organisations from across the EU about their experiences. The consultation covering 2020 is open from 9 December until 20 January 2021.
Today, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes a report on fundamental rights issues at external land borders. The report looks at the main challenges of border management and puts forward proposals for actions to improve the current situation. The European Parliament requested FRA to prepare this report in January 2020. With the Coronavirus pandemic, the report could only be issued now.