Striking the balance between innovation and regulation in AI – is Europe leading the way or lagging behind?

Authors: Cezara Panait , Davor Ljubenkov , Dalia Alic


Artificial Intelligence is an emerging technology area which permeates political, economic, socio-cultural and other spheres of life. In order to answer the question about striking the balance between innovation and regulation in AI, a comparative analysis is presented as the main methodological tool. The European Union, United States of America and China are identified as geopolitical global players with vastly different AI leadership stances when it comes to national strategies, research & development funding, data protection acts or ethical concerns. These different perspectives are the basis for policy recommendations, either regulatory, strategic or plainly focused on public governance and technology management.


Artificial Intelligence, Regulation, Innovation, Global Governance, EU, US, China

To cite this article:

Cezara Panait, Davor Ljubenkov, Dalia Alic (2021), Striking the balance between innovation and regulation in AI – is Europe leading the way or lagging behind? , Europuls Policy Journal, 1:1, p. 27-45



Alic, D. (2021). The Role of Data Protection and Cybersecurity Regulations in Artificial Intelligence Global
Governance: A Comparative Analysis of the European Union, the United States, and China Regulatory
Framework. Master Thesis. Central European University.
Allen, G. C. (2019, February 6). Understanding China’s AI Strategy. Center for a New American Security.

Baloup, J. (2021, June 10). The Data Governance Act: New rules for international transfers of non-
personal data held by the public sector. European Law Blog.

Broadbent, M., Arrieta-Kenna, S. (2021). AI Regulation: Europe’s Latest Proposal is a Wake-Up Call
for the United States. Center for Strategic & International Studies.
Castro, D., McLaughlin, M. (2021). Who Is Winning the AI Race: China, the EU, or the United States?.
Center for Data Innovation.
China State Council (2017). New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan. English
translation provided by NEW AMERICA and translators Rogier Creemers from Leiden Asia Centre,
Graham Webster from Yale Law School, Paul Tsai from China Center, Paul Triolo from Eurasia Group
and Elsa Kania.
Coyle, A., & Piccone, T. (2019, April 3). Order from chaos. Comparing American and European
perspectives on tech and privacy. (The Brookings Institution)
Crespi, P. (2021). European AI Act – How will this regulation affect SMEs?
DeLallo, D., & Tennison, J. (2020, June 9). How to make the most of AI? Open up and share data,
McKinsey on AI.
Deloitte (2021). The new EU AI rules: a new regulatory paradigm for innovation
Dworkin, A. (2020). European Council on Foreign Relations. Europe’s fight for multilateralism: With or
without the US?
Erdélyi, O., & Goldsmith, J. (2020). Regulating Artificial Intelligence: Proposal for a Global Solution
European Commission (2021). EU-US launch Trade and Technology Council to lead values-based global
digital transformation
European Commission (2021). Europe’s Digital Decade: digital targets for 2030.
European Commission (2018). Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence, COM/2018/795 final.
European Commission (2019). Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI

European Commission (2021). Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council
laying down harmonised rules on Artificial Intelligence (Artificial Intelligence Act) and amending certain
Union legislative acts, COM/2021/206 final.
European Commission (2020). White Paper on Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence
and trust, COM/2020/65 final.
European Commission (2021). Regulatory framework proposal on Artificial Intelligence
European Commission (2019). Action Document for an International Alliance for a Human-Centric
Approach to Artificial Intelligence (Annex 4).
European Commission. (2021, January 29). Feedback from: Access Now Europe for Data sharing in the
EU – Common European data spaces (new rules). Have Your Say.
European Data Protection Board. (2021, March 10). EDPB & EDPS adopt joint opinion on the Data
Governance Act (DGA).
European Digital Rights (2020). The Data Governance Act—Between undermining the GDPR and building
a Data Commons. European Digital Rights (EDRi). Retrieved 14 September 2021.
European Parliament (2017). Civil Law Rules on Robotics.
European Parliament and European Council (2020). Proposal for Data Governance Act. EUR-Lex.
Evas, T. (2020). European framework on ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related
technologies. European Parliamentary Research Service.
Executive Office of the President of the United States. (2019). The National Artificial Intelligence
Research and Development Strategic Plan: 2019 Update.
Floridi, L., Cowls, J., Beltrametti, M., Chatila, R., Chazerand, P., Dignum, V., Luetge, C., Madelin, R.,
Pagallo, U., Rossi, F., Schafer, B., Valcke, P., & Vayena, E. (2018). AI4People – An Ethical Framework
for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations. Minds and Machines
Full Translation: China’s ‘New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan’ (2017) (n.d.). New
Future of Life Institute. (2020). AI Policy in China.
Gal, D. (2020). China’s Approach to AI Ethics. The AI Powered State: China’s Approach to Public Sector
Innovation, p. 53–61.
Global Partnership on AI (2020). GPAI Frequently Asked Questions.
González Fuster, G., & Gellert, R. (2012). The Fundamental Right of Data Protection in the European
Union: In Search of an Uncharted Right. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 26, p.
Gruschka, N., Mavroeidis, V., Vishi, K., & Jensen, M. (2018). Privacy Issues and Data Protection in Big
Data: A Case Study Analysis under GDPR (p. 5033).
Hart, R. (2021). Clearview AI — The Facial Recognition Company Embraced By U.S. Law Enforcement —
Just Got Hit With A Barrage Of Privacy Complaints In Europe
Gaumond, E. (2021). Artificial Intelligence Act: What Is the European Approach for AI?. Lawfare Blog.
Kania, E. B. (2018, November 6). China’s embrace of AI: Enthusiasm and challenges – European
Council on Foreign Relations. ECFR.
Jain, A. (2016, September 17). The 5 V’s of big data (IBM Watson Health Perspectives)
Kop, M. (2020). The Right to Process Data for Machine Learning Purposes in the EU. Harvard Journal
of Law & Technology, Volume 34.

Kuner, C., Svantesson, D., Svantesson, B., Cate, F., Lynskey, O., Millard, C., & Ni Loideain, N. (2017).
The GDPR as a chance to break down borders. International Data Privacy Law.
Ma, Y., Zhao, Y., & Liao, M. (2015). The Values Demonstrated in the Constitution of the People’s
Republic of China. In M. Ladikas, S. Chaturvedi, Y. Zhao, & D. Stemerding (Eds.), Science and
Technology Governance and Ethics: A Global Perspective from Europe, India and China (pp. 73–81).
Springer International Publishing.
Madiega, T. (2020). Digital sovereignty for Europe. European Parliamentary Research Service, 1-12.
Mao, Y. M. (2021). The EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act Could Become A Brake On Innovation. Finextra.
Medhora, R. (2018). AI & Global Governance: Three Paths Towards a Global Governance of Artificial
Intelligence. United Nations University Centre for Policy Research. Retrieved 7 June 2021
Men, J. (2011). Between Human Rights and Sovereignty: An Examination of EU–China Political
Relations. European Law Journal, 17(4), 534–550.
Mueller, B. (2021). AI Act Would Cost the EU Economy €31 Billion Over 5 Years, and Reduce AI
Investments by Almost 20 Percent, New Report Finds. Center for Data Innovation.
Center for Security and Emerging Technology (2018, January 24). Original CSET Translation of
‘Artificial Intelligence Standardization White Paper’ [人工智能标准化白皮书(2018版)].
Panait, C. (2021) The Global Race on Regulating AI (Original Title: Cursa globală pentru
reglementarea AI). Mindcraft Stories.
Parker, L. (2021, June 11). The American AI Initiative: The U.S. Strategy for Leadership in Artificial
Intelligence. OECD AI Blog.
Pascal, A. (2019). Against Washington’s ‘Great Power’ Obsession. The Atlantic.
Pernot-Leplay, E. (2020). China’s Approach on Data Privacy Law: A Third Way Between the U.S. and the
Piatkiewicz, D. (2021). Realigning on values – The case for strengthening the US-EU values-based
partnership through NATO. Atlantic Forum.
Ruan, L. (2018). When the Winner Takes it All: Big Data in China and the Battle for Privacy. Australian
Strategic Policy Institute, International Cyber Policy Institute.
Roberts, H., Cowls, J., Morley, J., Taddeo, M., Wang, V., & Floridi, L. (2019). The Chinese Approach to
Artificial Intelligence: An Analysis of Policy, Ethics, and Regulation (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID
3469784). Social Science Research Network.
Sartor, G., & Lagioia, F. (2020). The impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on
artificial intelligence
Selby, J. (2017). Data Localization Laws: Trade Barriers or Legitimate Responses to Cybersecurity
Risks, or Both?. International Journal of Law and Information Technology, 25, 213–232.
Stanzel, K. D., François Godement, Elsa B. Kania, Adam Knight, Marcin Przychodniak, Angela (2018,
October 25). The China dream goes digital: Technology in the age of Xi – European Council on
Foreign Relations. ECFR.
Stolton, S. (2020, October 8). EU nations call for ‘soft law solutions’ in future Artificial Intelligence
regulation. EurActiv.
Taddeo, M. (2018). The Limits of Deterrence Theory in Cyberspace

Tsai, K., & Naughton, B. (2015). State Capitalism and the Chinese Economic Miracle. In B. Naughton &
K. Tsai (Eds.), State Capitalism, Institutional Adaptation, and the Chinese Miracle (Comparative
Perspectives in Business History, pp. 1-24), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tsanova, I., Havenith R. (2019). Europe is no longer an innovation leader. Here’s how it can get
ahead. World Economic Forum.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2021). AI Ethics: Another
step closer to the adoption of UNESCO’s Recommendation.
United States Government (2021). National Artificial Intelligence Initiative.
Van Roy, V., Rossetti, F., Percent, K., & Galindo-Romero, L. (2021). AI Watch – National strategies on
Artificial Intelligence: A European perspective
Wallace, N., & Castro, D. (2018). The Impact of the EU’s New Data Protection Regulation on AI.
Center for Data Innovation.
White House (2021). Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved
Communities Through the Federal Government
Wong, P. (2013). Confucian Social Media: An Oxymoron?. Dao, 12(3), p. 283–296.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *