Publication of the European Commission’s JRC Science for Policy Report “AI Watch, Road to the Adoption of Artificial Intelligence by the Public Sector”.

A handbook for policymakers, public administrations and relevant stakeholders

Report cover

Mariana Furtado

The Joint Research Centre has just published a crucial handbook for European policymakers and public administrations (at European, National and Local level) with recommendations and actions on the use of AI in the public sector.

The administration of public governance is undergoing a shift towards the digitalisation of services and use of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence in support of decision making (for example with the creation of Data Spaces and National or Local Digital Twins). This can bring great benefits to the citizens in terms of optimisation of services and planning, but there is a need to guarantee to citizens that AI is deployed in the most efficient and safest possible way, respecting European values and human rights.

The handbook provides 16 recommendations on the trustworthy use of AI and in its annexes offer a mapping of the different recommendations articulated into Actions and their competence at the operational level by the different stakeholders operating in this domain.

It highlights the key importance of cities in achieving citizen engagement in the use of AI in public administration. Since local level administration is closer to citizens it is easier to promote the involvement of civil society.

The handbook was developed within the context of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Watch, the European Commission’s knowledge service to monitor the development, uptake and impact of AI for Europe, launched in December 2018. As part of the AI Watch initiative, a specific task addresses the role of AI in the public sector, which sets out to provide actionable guidelines to promote the adoption of citizen-centric, safe, lawful, inclusive and trustworthy AI by public sector administrations in the EU.

It is the result of cooperation between European governments and public administrations, scientific and technical experts of the area, representatives of relevant stakeholder communities (civil society, Communities of Practices, and interest groups), and from different European institutions. The recommendations are based also on the outcomes from a two-round survey addressed to practitioners of public administrations at central, regional and local levels that was carried out over the last couple of years.

You can read the report here.

Read more on the European approach to artificial intelligence

9th June 2022 Webinar Bringing AI closer to Citizens – Smart Communities.

If you are interested in public procurement of AI you may want to join this working group: - AI Procurement | Living in EU (


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