Next week will be a committee week in the European Parliament.  Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather virtually and in person in Brussels.  Several interesting votes and debates are scheduled to take place.

On Thursday, MEPs of the Committee on Legal Affairs (“JURI”) will have an exchange of views with Thierry Breton on the European Commission’s legislative proposal on Artificial Intelligence, due to be presented the day before.  Based on earlier leaks of the highly anticipated legislative proposal, we expect that the proposal will lay down harmonized rules for placing AI systems on the EU Single Market.  It may also introduce harmonized transparency rules for AI systems intended to interact with natural persons and AI systems to generate digital content.  It will include a list of prohibited AI practices that contravene the EU values, such as AI systems that are designed to have persons behave or “take a decision to their detriment,” or AI systems used for general purpose social scoring.  High-risk AI system will be subject to a third-party conformity assessment to check whether the manufacturer has applied all harmonized standards in full, such as high quality data sets that do not incorporate any intentional or unintentional biases or produces unintended adverse outcomes of reasonably foreseeable misuse.  Facial recognition technology would likely be considered high-risk, as well as safety components in public infrastructure networks, such as electricity and gas supply.  AI systems that are exclusively used for the operation of weapons or military purposes will likely be excluded from the proposal.  The leaks seem to answer the call that 116 MEPs raise in a letter to the Commission on March 8, 2021, to include the possibility to ban or prohibit applications of AI that are incompatible with fundamental rights.  We expect that the MEPs of JURI will likely focus their attention on having Commissioner Breton share more details on any open norms the proposal may have.

On the same day, MEP Jytte Guteland (SE, S&D), rapporteur of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (“ENVI”), will report to the ENVI Committee on the progress of the interinstitutional negotiations with the Council of the EU on the EU’s Climate Law.  The Parliament and Council will have another round of negotiations on April 20, 2021.  The EU Climate Law is intended to codify the EU’s ambition to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050.  The European Parliament disagrees with several Member States, for example, regarding the intermediate greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 2030 and 2040.  Where the European Commission proposed a 55% reduction target in comparison to the emission levels of 1990, the European Parliament has adopted a position calling for a 60% reduction target.  The Parliament’s position is available here.

For the complete agenda and overview of the meetings, please see here.