EU Policy. Commission presses governments to appoint AI regulators

EU Commission Vice President Vestager.
EU Commission Vice President Vestager. Copyright Olivier Hoslet/AP
Copyright Olivier Hoslet/AP
By Cynthia Kroet
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By the end of this year, certain provisions of the AI Act will already start to apply.


National governments will receive a letter next week asking them to appoint their AI regulators, Roberto Viola, director general at the European Commission’s digital unit said today (3 April).

Compliance with the AI Act – Europe's rules aimed at regulating AI according to a risk-based approach – will be under the oversight of national authorities in the member states, supported by the AI office, a unit within the Commission.

Member states have 12 months to set up their national regulators, which will together make up the AI Board, a body whose aim is to harmonise the approach to the law across the bloc.

“The AI Board will depend on member states representatives. I will send a letter to the countries to appoint representatives for the board, even ahead of the implementation [of the Act],” Viola said at a conference organised by the European Parliament and Renew Europe.

“We did the same with the Digital Services Act, we need the board up and running,” he said, adding that “deadlines will be met”. 

Euronews reported last month that countries are still at the early stages of determining which regulator is best placed to oversee compliance.

Entry into force

The Commission expects the AI Act to appear in the EU’s Official Journal – and to fully enter into force – in June. The rules, which divide machine learning systems in categories ranging from low to high risk – were approved by lawmakers last month. 

By the end of this year, bans on prohibited practices specified in the AI Act will apply. The general-purpose AI rules will apply one year after entry into force, June 2025, and the obligations for high-risk systems in three years.

The EU executive has begun recruitment for policy and technical jobs at the AI Office with a deadline for applications on 27 March. The start of employment could tentatively be expected from this autumn, according to the job ads.

Viola said that the commission received “many applications”.

“There are many people interested in working on the good side. We will ramp up quickly, towards 100 staff,” he added.

The Commission said it will only start the selection procedure to find a head of the AI Office when the AI Act is fully approved, Euronews reported last month.

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