Civil society open letter demands to ensure fundamental rights protections in the Council position on the AI Act

Negotiations in the Council of the EU regarding the AI Act are at full speed. Civil society calls for the Council to correct major shortcomings of their version of the Act which fails to ensure the necessary safeguards against harmful applications of AI systems.

If you want to learn more about our policy & advocacy work on the AI Act, get in touch with

Angela Müller
Angela Müller
Head of Policy & Advocacy | Executive Director AlgorithmWatch CH
Nikolett Aszódi
Policy & Advocacy Manager

The Council of the EU is in full swing with finding an agreement regarding the AI Act. However, the text in its current form contains major shortcomings which – unless they are corrected – would increasingly pose a threat to our fundamental rights and democracy. Together with civil society we are addressing Ivan Bartoš, Czech Minister for Digitisation and Ministers of member states with an open letter to make steps towards ensuring the Council’s version of the AI Act will protect people and our societies from the risks stemming from AI systems. It is currently Czechia which holds the presidency in the Council – and under whose presidency the Council might reach an agreement on the AI Act by the end of this year. After both the Council and EU Parliament have reached an agreement within their institutions, the trilogue together with the EU Commission will begin to reach provisional agreement on the Act.

Open letter

Dear Ivan Bartoš, Deputy Prime Minister for Digitisation,
EU Ministers of Telecoms and Digitalisation,

We, the undersigned organisations, are writing to bring to your attention a number of serious shortcomings in the Council position on the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) (COM/2021/206) currently under negotiation by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This communication builds on the position of 123 civil society organisations calling for the European Union to foreground a fundamental-rights based approach to the AI act in 2021.

In particular, we draw your attention to (a) Essential fundamental rights protections currently missing from the Council’s position, and (b) Key shortcomings of the Council position from a fundamental rights perspective.

(A) Essential fundamental rights protections currently missing from the Council’s approach to the AI Act

The Council is yet to incorporate several necessary features of a fundamental rights-based approach in the AI Act. We call on the Czech Presidency and Member States to ensure that the following features are reflected in the final Council position:

(B) Key shortcomings of the Council position from a fundamental rights perspective

The following features of the Council’s position risk undermining the effective protection of people and fundamental rights from high-risk AI systems:

We sincerely hope that, in your responsible capacities, you take the necessary steps to ensure the concerns outlined in this letter are addressed.

We look forward to exchanging further with you to discuss how the Council can ensure that the Compromise on the AI Act maintains the highest level of fundamental rights protection.


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Amnesty Tech

European Digital Rights (EDRi)

European Disability Forum

European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL)

Fair Trials

Homo Digitalis

Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)

Panoptykon Foundation

PICUM - Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants

Read more on our policy & advocacy work on the Artificial Intelligence Act