A trio of prominent EU member states—Germany, France, and Poland—have united to advocate for enhanced synchronization between national strategies and investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and the EU's policies in this domain.
This alliance emphasizes the necessity for member states to intensify collaboration to position the EU competitively against global leaders like the US and China. The ambition is to foster AI innovations that not only propel the European economy forward but are also firmly anchored in the EU's regulatory framework and democratic values.
Strategic actions and the Weimar Triangle's role
During a conference hosted by the German federal government in Brussels on 23 January, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, the Federal Research Minister, underscored the imperative for collective action to ensure the EU stands on equal footing with the US and China in AI advancements.
Stark-Watzinger highlighted Germany's readiness, alongside France and Poland, to spearhead this initiative within the Weimar Triangle framework—a collaboration that dates back to 1991 aimed at addressing European matters and supporting Poland's post-communist transition. This partnership could serve as a model for leadership, with Poland playing a pivotal role as one of the wealthiest post-2004 EU member states.
Leveraging AI for Europe's technological sovereignty
The EU has historically lagged in the internet industry, but AI presents a new frontier for reclaiming technological leadership. Stark-Watzinger, along with France's Research Minister Sylvie Retailleau, advocates for a unified strategic approach to AI, emphasizing the EU's capability to independently develop and deploy AI technologies.
This includes attracting and retaining top global talent and ensuring responsible use of AI. The EU's commitment is evidenced by substantial funding through Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe program, along with the anticipation of the world’s first AI regulation.
Moreover, the European Commission's initiative to provide AI start-ups with access to high-performance computing resources marks a significant step toward enhancing the EU's competitive edge in AI technology, aligning with efforts to shape the technology's impact within Europe collectively.