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Key takeaways from March virtual breakfast | Policymaking embraces innovation - Drafting and implementing regulatory sandboxes

Key takeaways from March virtual breakfast

Published on: 31/03/2022 News

On March 16, the Better Legislation for Smoother Implementation (BLSI) community hosted an online workshop, dedicated to Policymaking embraces innovation - Drafting and implementing regulatory sandboxes”.

During this virtual breakfast, we were honoured to explore with you and our guest speakers the regulatory sandboxes, experiences on them, and also the next steps to be followed.

We are thankful for the very rich exchange of ideas to all the participants, including of course our panellists: 

  • Lorna Schrefler, European Commission DG RTD
  • Dr. Konstantin Kolloge, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
  • Yordanka Ivanova, European Commission, DG CONNECT


Key takeaways

Regulatory Sandboxes & experimentation clauses in EU legislation

Lorna Schrefler, European Commission DG RTD

  • The Council issued conclusions on regulatory sandboxes of 16 November 2020:
    • Experimentation clauses (recital 9). These clauses are often the legal basis for regulatory sandboxes.
    • Regulatory sandboxes (recital 8). Concrete frameworks which, by providing a structured context for experimentation, enable where appropriate in a real-world environment the testing of innovative technologies, products, services or approaches.
    • Before regulatory sandboxes you should have a legal basis. The legislation allows you for experimentation.
    • It is important to take stock of what exists in EU level mandate & recommendations for the way forward.
  • The European Commission (EC) follows up on the Council conclusions:
    • Develop a common understanding on experimentation clauses/regulatory sandboxes.
    • Establish which forms of flexibility are NOT experimentation clauses/regulatory sandboxes under any definition.
    • Collect information through questionnaire & assess the examples identified.
    • Guidance on the regulatory sandboxes is available in the Commission’s Better Regulation toolbox.
  • The EC’s preliminary findings
    • Some experimentation clauses paving the way for sandboxes exist at EU level around Artificial Intelligence (AI), the financial area, food safety.
    • Various initiatives exist at national level in different sectors e.g. fintech sandboxes in several Member States (e.g. energy in France, transport in Germany).
  • Lessons learned from exchange of practices at national and EU level:
    • EU experimentation clauses: implementation experience varies case-by-case.
    • ‘Older’ experimentation clauses may not have been looked at with today’s
    • perspective until now.
    • Constantly evolving panorama, there could be a laboratory at a later stage.
    • Comparatively at EU level and national level, there are commonalities in sectors (e.g. the role of supervisor in authority), but there are no links between them.
    • All this is really new and may arise questions.


The German Regulatory Sandbox Strategy: Experiences and next steps

Dr. Konstantin Kolloge, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

  • The German perspective:
    • Three main points: Regulatory sandboxes in practice, closer look on the legal basis, what we do and plan.
    • Allow to enable innovation to a real world, especially talking about emerging technology and high-risk applications. That is the need of the experimentation clause.
    • Variety of possible areas as eGovernment, blockchain, transport and mobility.
  • Two concrete examples: Hub Chain Osnabrück and SmaLa & smart load and delivery zones:
    • Both positive experience (e.g. allowance of practical testing of new modes of transportation with exemptions) and challenges (e.g. licensing conditions, selection procedures) derived from these examples.
  • For successful regulatory sandboxes and successful projects that allow for innovation and to learn and advance, someone needs to carefully run the experimentation clauses.
  • Germany supports the creating of a legal basis both at national and EU level.


The Regulatory Sandboxing Clause in the proposal for an Artificial Intelligence Act

Yordanka Ivanova, European Commission, DG CONNECT

  • AI proposal creates a framework for AI regulatory sandboxes aimed to foster AI innovation, enhance legal certainty and accelerate access to market.
  • Key features of AI Regulatory sandboxes article 53
    • Regulatory supervision is key, supported in the AI Act.
    • Market based legislation. It requires testing, development and see what happens in the EU market.
    • See how existing legislation applies to existing technology.
    • Supervision of concrete AI projects.
    • Variety of possible participants.
  • Governance framework: The legislation is mainly enforced at national level, while at EU level, there is a need to set common principles.

Presentations and recording

Scroll down to download the webinar key takeaways summary – that includes the Q&A too - and the speakers’ presentations. 

Click here to watch the recording of the session. 


Next steps

The session gave our LIOP team a lot of food for thought to design our future activities. We look forward to seeing you in our next virtual breakfast sessions!

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