On January 12, 2017, the EU Legal Affairs Committee presented a legislative initiative for EU regulation on robotics inviting the EU Commission to present a legislative proposal, which defines the EU legal framework on robots and artificial intelligence.
According to Rapporteur Mady Delvaux (S&D, LU): “A growing number of areas of our daily lives are increasingly affected by robotics. In order to address this reality and to ensure that robots are and will remain in the service of humans, we urgently need to create a robust European legal framework”.
For MEPs, the EU should fully exploit the economic potential of robotics and artificial intelligence and guarantee a standard level of safety and security, and take the lead on regulatory issues related to standards.
Therefore, the regulation shall have the aim to create a specific legal status of “electronic persons” for the most sophisticated autonomous robots, which must act under specific code of ethical conduct, in order to protect humans against harmful actions and eventually guarantee their rights to turn off or “kill” robots, which breach that rules.
In addition, MEPs required the EU Commission to consider creating a European agency for robotics and artificial intelligence to supply public authorities with technical, ethical and regulatory expertise.
However, MEPs highlights the importance to define harmonized rules related to self-driving cars, which concern liability, define insurance scheme, and provide a compensation system to protect victims, in cases of accidents caused by driverless cars.