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Finland pushes forward the use of artificial intelligence in the EU

Government Communications Department
Publication date 19.10.2017 21.05 | Published in English on 20.10.2017 at 13.58
Press release 478/2017

On Thursday 19 October, the two-day meeting of the European Council in Brussels began with discussions on defence, Digital Europe and migration.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä informed his colleagues that Finland has recently reached a political decision to join the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). PESCO is a significant step towards a stronger common security and defence policy in the EU. More than 20 EU Member States are expected to join it.

“Finland has actively promoted the development of EU’s defence policy, and we are pleased with the speed of the progress. The Permanent Structured Cooperation gives us tools to develop the EU as a security community in a comprehensive way. It must include crisis management, support to EU’s partners and ensuring the security of Europe,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.

“The issues Finland is interested in include deeper cybersecurity cooperation, unmanned aircrafts, satellite cooperation, and maritime safety issues, such as dissemination of situation awareness information,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.

“We are very pleased that now the Permanent Structured Cooperation includes a reference to the mutual assistance clause of the Lisbon Treaty,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.

During the discussions on building a Digital Europe, Finland proposed a common artificial intelligence strategy for the EU. On Finland’s initiative, the Council conclusions include an invitation to the European Commission to put forward a European approach to artificial intelligence by early 2018.

“We must start the work now. Europe cannot afford to lose the best ideas to competitors and other markets. Common EU measures could include training and financing, and even carefully considered regulations. It is essential even for the deployment of artificial intelligence that we create a well-functioning digital single market,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.

Regarding migration, the European Council emphasised the need to support African countries and cooperate with UN organisations to address the root causes of migration.

Inquiries: Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 319, Riikka Pakarinen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 580 0833 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office