The Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence (AI) reflects Europe’s commitment to creating global leadership in trustworthy AI. The plan’s latest update was published in 2021 and is closely aligned with the Commission’s digital and green priorities as well as Europe’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coordinated Plan was initially published in 2018, as a joint commitment between the Commission, EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland to maximise Europe’s potential to compete globally. As a first step towards such commitment, the initial Plan defined actions and funding instruments for the uptake and development of AI across sectors. In parallel, Member States were encouraged to develop their own national strategies
The Coordinated Plan of 2021 aims to turn strategy into action by prompting to:
- accelerate investments in AI technologies to drive resilient economic and social recovery aided by the uptake of new digital solutions
- act on AI strategies and programmes by fully and timely implementing them to ensure that the EU fully benefits from first-mover adopter advantages
- align AI policy to remove fragmentation and address global challenges
In order to achieve this, the updated plan sets four key sets of policy objectives, supported by concrete actions and indicating possible funding mechanism and the timeline to:
- set enabling conditions for AI development and uptake in the EU
- make the EU the place where excellence thrives from the lab to market
- ensure that AI technologies work for people
- build strategic leadership in high-impact sectors
The Commission proposed that the EU invests in AI at least €1 billion per year from the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes. EU-level funding on AI should attract and pool investment to foster collaboration among Member States and maximise impact by joining forces.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility provides an unprecedented opportunity to modernise and invest in AI. Through this the EU can become a global leader in the development and uptake of human-centric, trustworthy, secure and sustainable AI technologies.
Member States and the Commission have collaborated closely and met regularly to work on the main actions proposed in the 2018 Coordinated Plan. They progressed in all areas of the plan including by proposing a data strategy, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and creating conditions for excellence in research and development and uptake of AI in Europe.
Overall, the first two years of implementation confirmed that joint actions and structured cooperation between Member States and the Commission are key to the EU’s global competitiveness and leadership in AI development and uptake. Most Member States have adopted national AI strategies and started to implement them. Investments in AI have increased, and the EU was able to mobilise critical resources to support these processes.
The Coordinated Plan of 2021 invites Member States to review and update national AI strategies as required. Some Member States have already updated their initial strategies.
The table below shows how 23 EU countries out of 27, as well as Norway and Switzerland, have progressed with their national strategies. The remaining national strategies are also expected to be published soon.