Prof. Michal Ondero and Mahmoud Javadi, researchers from Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), a partner institution of the REMIT research consortium, have penned a commentary on the ongoing efforts to govern the application of artificial intelligence in military domains worldwide.

In their analysis, they juxtapose and delineate the only two existing initiatives in this endeavor. One was initiated by the Netherlands and later joined by South Korea, resulting in the first Summit on Responsible Artificial Intelligence in the Military Domain (REAIM) in February 2023. The second initiative, the Political Declaration on Responsible Military Use of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy, was introduced by the United States during the REAIM Summit.

Ondero and Javadi argue that REAIM adopts a democratic, decentralized, and depoliticized approach to global military AI governance. In contrast, the US-led Political Declaration is exclusively directed towards states, making the initiative less inclusive but more focused on coalition-building to advance a narrative favorable to Washington and, ostensibly, its China strategy.

The commentary contends that while the US aims to showcase its global leadership in governing military AI, the approach it has taken may not yield the desired results. Therefore, “the wisest policy choice for Washington is to acknowledge that achieving the visions and missions of REAIM would significantly contribute to fulfilling the Political Declaration.” This policy choice would have a substantial impact if the EU and its member states actively engage and allocate resources to ensure the success of REAIM.

Michal Onderco says: “Our stance is not in opposition to the initiatives undertaken by the United States, nor does it exclusively endorse the REAIM process. Rather, through REMIT, we strive to offer the European Union and its member states a comprehensive global governance framework for the military application of AI. Consequently, we seek to critically assess all existing processes, whether originating from Europe or elsewhere. Our vision entails a democratic and inclusive governance framework, among other essential characteristics.”

The commentary was originally published by the European Leadership Network (ELN). An independent, non-partisan, pan-European network of over 450 past, present, and future European leaders, the ELN offers practical real-world solutions to political and security challenges.

Full citation

Javadi, M., Onderco, M., (2024), REMIT Publication: EUR Commentary: What does global military AI governance need? [Op-Ed], European Leadership Network,

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