Europe: The European Union unveils its Artificial Intelligence Office

What you need to know

In brief

As part of our commitment to keep you updated on the incipient field of AI-Regulation, we would like to direct your attention to a new development: On 24 January 2024, the EU Commission released its Decision establishing the European Artificial Intelligence Office ("AI Office"). This client alert focuses on the integration timeline, jurisdiction and scope of the AI Office, alongside lingering questions yet to be addressed.

Key developments

Integration and timeline

The AI Office, integral to enforcing the AI Act, is set to be integrated into the Commission, featuring a separate budget line. The Decision establishing the AI Office will enter into force on 21 February 2024, preceding the formal adoption of the EU AI Act. This underscores a swift and committed approach to effective AI regulation.

Jurisdiction and scope

  • Enforcement

The AI Office will serve as a linchpin, supporting national authorities in the enforcement of the AI Act. Its primary focus lies in monitoring and policing General Purpose AI (GPAI) models and systems, the most potent types of AI so far.

  • GPAI models oversight

The AI office will develop methodologies and benchmarks for evaluating GPAI models, in particular for very large GPAI models with systemic risks.

  • Investigative powers

The AI Office will be imbued with investigative authority, allowing it to address possible infringements of regulations related to GPAI systems. This includes collecting complaints, issuing document requests, conducting evaluations, and requesting enforcement measures to mitigate violations.

  • Support and coordination

The AI Office will facilitate information exchange and collaboration between national authorities, collecting notifications and establishing information platforms and databases. It will further assist the Commission in issuing further Decisions as well as guidance and guideline documents.

Questions yet to be answered

  • Autonomy and objectives

Questions surrounding the autonomy of the AI Office persist. Clarification is needed on whether it will have independent political objectives or function as a extension of the unit responsible for the AI Act.

  • Financing

While the AI Office will have a separate budget line, it is yet unclear how big its allocated budget will be. The impact of the Digital Europe Programme on the AI Office´s financing remains to be seen.


While a few points remain unclear, the EU is taking significant steps not just regarding oversight and enforcement support for the national authorities, but also in order to facilitate information exchange and collaboration.

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Your dedicated team at Baker McKenzie is here to help you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of AI regulation.

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