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The final decision on the AI Regulation was taken by the Council of the EU on 21 May 2024. This represents an important step for the safe use of artificial intelligence and the protection of fundamental rights. The European Parliament has made a significant contribution – one out of many reasons to vote in the EU elections on 9 June 2024!

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The EU Council of Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs adopted the Platform Work Directive on 11 March 2024. Previously, two attempts to adopt the Directive had failed, even though an agreement had already been reached in December 2023. The Directive addresses precarious working conditions in the platform economy and strengthens the role of trade unions.

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The European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs will soon be voting on two controversial topics: At the beginning of April 2024, a vote will be held on the introduction of the digital euro as a new means of payment. The EU Commission's Retail Investment Strategy, which has received far less public attention, will be put to the vote on 20 March 2024. The AK is calling for improvements for consumers.

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The proposal for a Regulation on the European Health Data Space is currently being negotiated in trilogue between the EU Parliament, the Council and the EU Commission. AK EUROPA, together with trade unions and other organisations advocating for the digital rights of patients, healthcare professionals, consumers and employees, has sent an open letter to the trilogue negotiators. They are called upon to respect the fundamental rights of European patients.

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Daniela Zimmer

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Johanna Rachbauer

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Sarah Bruckner (Brussels office)

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The proposal aims to clearly regulate access to, sharing and use of personal financial data. By facilitating access to data, the Commission wants to promote innovation and data-based business models in the EU financial sector. These ambitions are inevitably in tension with the fundamental rights to data protection and privacy, which take precedence over purely economic interests.

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Daniela Zimmer

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Benedikta Rupprecht

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Florian Wukovitsch (Brussels office)

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On 13 December, the EU Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on a proposal for a directive on improving working conditions in platform work. This means that there could soon be the world's first law regulating the rights of platform workers. More and more people are employed via platforms that are legally considered self-employed. However, this means that rights such as holiday entitlement and continued remuneration in the event of illness no longer apply.

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A ground-breaking agreement was reached in Brussels on 8 December. After 36 hours of marathon negotiations, the EU Parliament, Council and Commission announced the final trilogue result on the Regulation on artificial intelligence (AI).

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In the AI Act, the EU Commission focuses on standards for product safety. The EU Parliament has supplemented the draft with important rights for affected workers, citizens and consumers and clearly limited the democratically unjustifiable use of AI for biometric identification and emotion recognition of persons.

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Daniela Zimmer

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Martina Chlestil

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Alice Wagner (Büro Brüssel)

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It is common practice within the EU for people to travel, live, work or be posted by their employer to another EU country. However, cross-border digital evidence, for example with regard to health care, pensions or family benefits, is not yet universally possible. Therefore, at the beginning of September, the EU Commission presented instruments in a new Communication with which it would like to enable faster and easier digital access to social security services.

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On Wednesday, 13 September 2023, Commission President von der Leyen delivered the annual State of the Union (SOTEU) address at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg. The last SOTEU in this legislative period before the upcoming EU elections in June 2024 focused on green transition, artificial intelligence (AI) and enlargement. The social perspective was addressed with individual important points, for example with regard to the role of the social partners. However, overall it fell too short.