The world's first AI law: why it must protect people on the run in particular

Agreement on the first law to regulate artificial intelligence

As part of its digital strategy, the European Commission has developed a Legal act on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI Act) was proposed to ensure better conditions for the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe and to prevent risks. The aim of the legislators was to reconcile the advantages and opportunities of AI with the protection of fundamental rights and the prevention of threats.

After long and complicated negotiations, in December 2023 we, as Parliament, adopted a Agreement with the Council of the EU (i.e. the member states). This is the first ever regulation on the regulation of AI, which is a great success. Even though many areas of application for artificial intelligence are still being researched, it is already clear that further regulation will be needed in the future. We Greens would also have liked to see more extensive regulations, particularly with a focus on the protection of fundamental rights and vulnerable groups. For example, there is still a risk that Prejudice and discrimination are reinforced by AI. Amnesty International also shows what risks the digital age and artificial intelligence pose for the rights of asylum seekers in a detailed report on.

The dangers of artificial intelligence using the example of migration control management

At the Border protection has unfortunately not succeededThe use of artificial intelligence is also a major challenge, as is the regulation of real-time monitoring and other measures. Furthermore, the use of artificial intelligence great danger that the rights of marginalized groups of peoplefor example of asylum seekers or migrants, are violated. This can happen through profiling, automated "risk assessments" and pervasive surveillance practices. EU governments are increasingly deploying AI-powered surveillance systems at borders. These systems use algorithms to analyze data from cameras, drones and sensors to help border guards make decisions in real time. AI is also to be used in asylum procedures, for example in the processing of asylum applications. This can lead to relevant misjudgements and complicated, bureaucratic procedures. The AI Act will only make a limited contribution to preventing such risks.

Certain AI applications raise significant ethical and legal concerns, such as Lie detectors and Biometric recognition systems. This is where the AI Act comes in and regulates such surveillance options. However, we Greens have not been able to assert ourselves in all areas, meaning that there is still a risk of misuse of the technology in border surveillance, for example. There is currently a clear lack of reliable data on the susceptibility of such technologies to errors, particularly in the case of facial recognition. Such systems carry the risk of violating fundamental human rights, such as the right to privacy and the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits turning people back to areas where they are in imminent danger.

What needs to be considered in the further development of relevant legislation

For further development, it is important to point out significant weaknesses in the AI Act, even if it is fundamentally a great success that there is a Europe-wide entry into the regulation of AI. The compromise found in the AI Act is to ban certain forms of artificial intelligence that are classified as dangerous, while other AI functions are classified as high-risk, requiring strict monitoring and adherence to strict regulatory standards. 

Despite considerable concessions that we as the Greens had to make, such as the lack of a ban on biometric surveillance, significant shortcomings in the classification system for high-risk AI and broad exemptions for the use of AI in law enforcement, we as a group are satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations. The future will show how robust and future-proof this regulation will be in view of the rapid technological developments surrounding AI. There will probably have to be adjustments in the near future.

The most important successes for our Group include

  • The scope of the AI Regulation, which now also includes general AI.
  • Definitions of AI systems that are consistent with international standards and the OECD principles.
  • Ban on real-time remote biometric identification etc. in publicly accessible areas.
  • Categorization of high-risk AI systems and associated obligations and restrictions.
  • A fundamental rights impact assessment before the introduction of a high-risk system.
  • Obligations for general AI models, including technical documentation and transparency.
  • Environmental obligations, which are a new focus of the law
  • A new Commission "AI Office" to monitor and enforce the rules for general AI models.
  • Transparency rules for deepfakes and regulatory sandboxes to support start-ups and SMEs in developing AI that is fully compliant with the Regulation.

EU states conceal disenfranchisement of protection seekers with mini-reception program

Press release by Erik Marquardt from 10.06.2022

Today, the interior ministers of the EU states are meeting in Luxembourg to discuss the reaction to the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, Frontex, the Schengen reform and asylum and migration. A massive curtailment of the right of asylum is threatened. In the slipstream of the Ukraine crisis, the rights of those seeking protection at the external borders are to be further eroded. The ongoing massive human rights crimes at the EU's external borders are again not clearly addressed. The proposed solidarity mechanism will not be able to counter the extensive disenfranchisement of protection seekers.

Erik Marquardt, asylum policy spokesman for the Green Group in the European Parliament, comments:

"The small successes in the amendments to the Schengen Borders Code regarding internal border controls are being bought in the Council at the expense of a significant tightening of asylum law. The conservative hardliners among the EU governments are getting their way by wanting to normalize the practice of systematic human rights violations through legislative changes.

Meanwhile, Syrian refugees or Turkish opposition members are also disenfranchised and all too often mistreated at the external borders. The proposed amendments to the Schengen Borders Code will now give member states like Poland, Greece, or Croatia further justification for these crimes. An "instrumentalization of migration" is supposed to justify that people like at the Belarusian border no longer have access to asylum procedures. One can only hope that the European Parliament will put a stop to the increasing lawlessness at the external borders.

Coalition agreement must also be represented at European level

I expect the Chancellor's Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior to represent the contents of the coalition agreement at the European level. At the moment, the impression is created that a perpetuation of suffering at the external borders is being accepted instead of openly criticizing human rights violations. A coalition of the willing must not be bought by the degradation of those seeking protection at the external borders.

Even if it has apparently been achieved that some EU states agree to a relocation procedure and a small number of asylum seekers are redistributed, this cannot outweigh the Council's intended tightening of asylum law. A mini-reception program conceals the massive disenfranchisement of those seeking protection. The failed Dublin system is perpetuated by today's decisions – a serious reform becomes increasingly unlikely. If fewer and fewer people get access to an asylum procedure based on the rule of law, no redistribution of a small minority of those entitled to protection will help to compensate for this.

Redistribution falls short of Malta mechanism

Last year alone, more than 30,000 recognized protection seekers from Greece came to Germany and had to apply for asylum again because they were expelled from Greece. Germany now wants to take in 3,500 people in an orderly fashion. This falls short of the arrangement agreed under the Grand Coalition in the so-called Malta Mechanism – and this despite the fact that in the coalition agreement a further development of the mechanism was agreed.

In return for the solidarity mechanism, preliminary checks are now to be introduced at the external borders, further complicating access to asylum procedures. One can only praise the drops on the hot stone if no fire is lit under the stone in parallel. Today could be a black day for European asylum law, hopefully the European Parliament can still prevent the normalization of injustice at the external borders."

Study proves: Migration to Europe independent of sea rescue

The "Migration Policy Center" comes in the study "Sea Rescue NGOs: a Pull Factor of Irregular Migration?"concludes that people don't get on dinghies in the rubber dinghies in the Mediterranean because there are rescue ships there. This confirms the results of previous studies, such as "Death by Rescue"[ Door Closes ] And... Border Deaths in the Mediterranean.

The present study has investigated for the period from 2014 to October 2019, whether there is a correlation between the presence of NGOs and the number of people who set off from Libya on their way across the across the Mediterranean Sea towards Italy is related. The is not the case. The evaluation took place month by month over the period of five years. During this time, the political situation on the Mediterranean Sea has changed dramatically several times. Instead of rescuing people from distress at sea rescue people from distress at sea, civilian aid organisations have had to take over this task in recent years. have had to take over this task in recent years. But their work is not only made more difficult – often they are criminalised and intimidated for their humanitarian work and intimidated. This is often coupled with accusations that the sea rescue is increasing the number of people fleeing Libya. But the study shows once again that this connection does not exist.

There are understandable motives that force people on the dangerous crossing. Libya is a politically disrupted state, where refugees and migrants from refugees and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are threatened by torture, enslavement, sexual abuse and existential poverty. The people don't get on the rubber dinghies because there are boats to rescue them. There but more people die when there are no ships to rescue them.

In most cases, people do not wear life jackets and are not equipped with communication or navigation tools navigation equipment. Many cannot swim. The completely overcrowded boats are usually unable to reach the next safe place on their own. reach the next safe place. This alone puts people in distress at sea.

There is no evidence to support the assertion that people make their escape presence of lifeboats, there is no evidence. Nevertheless such connections are repeatedly brought into the discussion. Thus the FDP recently claimed in a Tweet of October 8, 2019, that Seehofer's promise, to take in people rescued from distress at sea in Germany would drive more people on the Mediterranean Sea.

Spiegel Online writes under the title: "More rescuers, more refugees - why this is so not true", which the results of the previous studies, which are now confirmed by the new study. confirmed by the new study. The migration scientist Matteo Villa collected data on how many migrants departed from the Libyan coast from the beginning of January to the end of June 2019, and Libyan coast and on how many of those days boats from private sea rescue sea rescue NGOs were in operation. His conclusion is that on the 31 days that NGOs were operating in the Mediterranean, the tugboats sent an average of sent 32.8 people out to sea; on the 150 days when no NGOs were present, the tugboats were present, the traffickers sent an average of 34.6 people on their way. Villa's conclusion, according to Spiegel Online: "The pull factor does not exist."


Sea Rescue NGOs: a Pull Factor of Irregular Migration?

Death by Rescue

Border Deaths in the Mediterranean