AI Act: What Legal Implications for Cities, Regions, and Communities Across the EU?

News| 19 Jun 2024

The Artificial Intelligence Act, a flagship legislative proposal by European legislators, will officially enter into force in August 2024. This Act is pivotal for the European digital strategy, not only because it introduces regulations and obligations for high-risk and general-purpose AI systems (GPAI) for the first time, but also because it underscores the importance of AI systems for European digital innovation. 

Public authorities will be among the stakeholders most impacted by this legislation. Cities and regions across the EU are crucial drivers of innovation and will play fundamental roles in this digital transformation. By adhering to the AI Act's stringent guidelines, these entities will help shape a trustworthy and human-centered AI landscape across Europe. 

Accordingly, the legal Working Group of Living-in.EU organized an online webinar to discuss the legal implications of the AI Act for cities, regions, and communities across the EU. 


Obligations for Deployers and Providers 

The webinar offered the opportunity to dive deep into the obligations that will arise for both providers and deployers of AI systems. 

Public authorities, which in most cases will fall under the category of deployers, will have to implement various measures, such as the registration of the high-risk system in the relevant EU database, conducting fundamental rights impact assessments prior to the deployment of the AI system, ensuring that the input data is sufficiently representative, and introducing mechanisms to receive requests for explanations on individual decision-making and enable appropriate human oversight. 

On the other hand, providers of AI systems will also have to comply with several obligations, such as establishing quality management systems, generating and keeping technical documentation, ensuring conformity assessments, and providing instructions for use. 

In some cases, deployers of AI systems could become providers if they make substantial modifications to AI systems or modify the intended purpose of the AI system. 

A New European Office & the Role of National Authorities 

The governance structure introduced by the AI Act foresees some novelties. National competent authorities will supervise conformity assessments, together with an Advisory Board composed of industries, start-ups, SMEs, and civil society, and a Scientific Panel that will support the implementation and enforcement of GPAI models. 

A novelty in the governance structure is the AI Office. Opening its doors in August 2024, the AI Office will regulate GPAI at the European level. It will be responsible for regulation and safety, but also for promotion, innovation, and research. 

Regulatory Sandboxes 

The AI Act will require Member States (MS) to establish at least one AI regulatory sandbox. These tools aim to support companies and public authorities in developing AI with easy access to authorities in case of questions related to what is allowed or not. The legislation allows MS to jointly develop regulatory sandboxes. 

The AI Pact 

The AI Pact aims to support providers of AI systems in complying with the regulations arising from the AI Act ahead of the legal deadline. Participants will be provided with a better understanding of the AI Act, responsibilities, and obligations. Moreover, the AI Pact also aims to provide a framework to foster the early implementation of some measures of the AI Act. Organizations interested in becoming part of the AI Pact can still express interest here. 

The Example from the Flemish Government 

Digital Flanders is committed to embracing the power of AI in a trustworthy manner. In addition to a long-term vision and AI strategy, Digital Flanders is committed to preparing their employees and organization for the changes brought by AI. 

A significant example in this regard is given by the Guidelines for Generative AI, which aim to guide public officials in ensuring that GPAI are transparent, accurate, and informative. Currently, these guidelines have been tested on two instruments: Microsoft 365 Copilot and an internal chatbot. 

Interested in Knowing More? 

The presentations, recording, and useful links are available on the Legal WG dedicated space here.

Register now to Living-in.EU to stay updated. 

If you have further questions, or other topics concerning the AI Act that you would like to explore,please share them with and You can also submit your questions to the Slido here by 25 June 2024. 


*imagecredits: image retrieved from PPT Presentation of  Hans Arents, Digital Flanders*

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