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Artificial Intelligence and Drones: EU Governance, Policies and Practices

European Union
Governance
Public Policy
Technology
Raluca Csernatoni
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Chantal Lavallée
Royal Military College Saint-Jean
Raluca Csernatoni
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Chantal Lavallée
Royal Military College Saint-Jean

Abstract

Owing to their dual-use characteristics and innovative applications, emerging technologies such as drones and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have gained importance within various domains. Given their extensive commercialization in recent years, drones are now accessible to a wide range of actors for both civilian and military uses. Their deployment already faces a series of problems related to counter-drone measures and societal concerns, such as security, privacy, and data protection. As an enabling and potentially disruptive technology, AI equally offers ground-breaking solutions for commercial and military applications. However, AI has also triggered concerns about its responsible development and deployment, by posing challenges to democratic governance structures and regulatory frameworks. Against this background, the European Union (EU) and its institutions have been proactively involved in the development of European policy frameworks for both technological domains. In this regard, the paper examines the emergence of new policy constellations, by looking at the imaginaries, policy processes, and institutional arrangements involved in the evolving governance of drones and AI. The research evaluates the role of the EU institutions in promoting discourses, regulatory frameworks, market, and research initiatives in the two technological areas. The aim is to provide new insights into the EU policy processes and the interplay between the techno-politics and EU’s institutional entrepreneurship to initiate actions through similar framings, approaches and rationales in these sectors.