On 2 February, the representatives of the EU Member States in the EU Council unanimously voted in favor of the text of the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act).
The suspense lasted until the final day of voting, as in the last several weeks, there were speculations that representatives of France and Germany would oppose the adoption of the document, by creating a “blocking minority”, arguing the AI Act would be too restrictive, in particular concerning general purpose AI systems (GPAI).
After the vote of 2 February, the text of AI Act must now be revised from a legal-linguistic perspective and formally adopted by the EU Council.
After the AI Act is approved by the EU Council, it must also be voted in the European Parliament, which is expected to happen in April this year.
The AI Act should apply after two years after its entry into force, with some exceptions for specific provisions.
The vote of 2 February comes after the EU Parliament and the EU Council reached a provisional agreement on the AI Act in December last year. We have written about this agreement and its main provisions here.
The endorsed text has been published by the EU Council on its webpage and is available here.