Provision of 5G Technology in Europe

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Publication Date 2019-
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Summary:

Reports and analyses relating to the development of the 5G networks across Europe, the role played by Chinese company Huawei as a leading stakeholder in the sector and the wider implications when it comes to bilateral and transatlantic relations.

Further information:

In March 2019, the European Commission published a set of guidelines regarding a common approach in the development of 5G technology across Europe. A number of actions was put forward for completion on national and EU levels, including a risk assessment which was released on 9 October.

The involvement of Huawei - one of China's main companies and the world's biggest producer of telecoms equipment - in developing 5G networks in different countries across Europe later became connected to wider trade conflict between China and the United States. The US administration cautioned European allies against the use of Huawei's 5G technology and equipment over fears that would allow China to spy on sensitive communications and data. However, in its guidelines the European Commission refused to call for a ban on the company and left it to the Member States to decide on national security grounds.

In May 2019, the Chinese company was put on an export blacklist by the government of the United States over security concerns. The measures saw Huawei prohibited from purchasing American goods to be used in their telecommunications equipment and barred US imports of equipment produced by Huawei. Some analysts suggested American warnings could be connected to efforts to protect US tech giants from Chinese competitors. Elsewhere, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was reportedly opposed to blocking individual companies from taking part in the country's own network, as she sought to bridge the gap within the coalition government on this matter. It was eventually reported in February 2020 that the German Christian Democrats had approved a position rejecting Huawei's exclusion.

The British government announced on 28 January 2020 the decision to allow Huawei to play a role in the development of 5G network across the United Kingdom, despite pressure from the United States. On the following day, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the implementation of the EU toolbox for a secure 5G deployment in the European Union (EU).

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 27/12/2018: Huawei and Europe’s 5G Conundrum https://carnegieendowment.org/2018/12/27/huawei-and-europe-s-5g-conundrum-pub-78045
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Commentary, 18/03/2019: Should Europe Buy Chinese 5G Technology? https://carnegieendowment.org/2019/03/18/should-europe-buy-chinese-5g-technology-pub-78610
Bruegel: Podcast, March 2019: Backstage: 5G deployment in Europe http://bruegel.org/2019/03/backstage-5g-deployment-in-europe/
EPRS: At a Glance, April 2019: 5G in the EU and Chinese telecoms suppliers http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_ATA(2019)637912
The Guardian, 24/04/2019: As Europe builds its 5G network, security – not cost – must come first https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/24/5g-cyber-security-europe-huawei-britain
Euro|Topics, May 2019: Why is Washington lashing out at Huawei? https://www.eurotopics.net/en/220119/
BBC News, 30/05/2019: How damaging is the Huawei row for the US and China? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48361473
Bloomberg, 31/05/2019: Huawei Is a Huge Challenge for Europe's Spies https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-05-31/huawei-versus-trump-is-a-huge-challenge-for-europe-s-spies
Euro|Topics, May 2019: Huawei ban: US grants a reprieve https://www.eurotopics.net/en/220298/
Politico: Special Reports: The State of 5G https://www.politico.eu/special-report/the-state-of-5g-eu-huawei-regulation-telecoms-public-health/
BBC News, 15/07/2019: Does 5G pose health risks? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48616174
Elcano Royal Institute: Analyses, 06/08/2019: Strategic autonomy in a new era: a Cold-War risk assessment of China’s involvement in the EU’s 5G networks http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/rielcano_en/contenido?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/elcano_in/zonas_in/ari89-2019-armani-esteban-strategic-autonomy-new-era-cold-war-risk-assessment-china-involvement-eu-5g-networks
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 09/09/2019: Who’s Afraid of Huawei? Understanding the 5G Security Concerns https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/who-s-afraid-huawei-understanding-5g-security-concerns
EurActiv, 23/10/2019: ‘Political need’ for 5G cybersecurity certification, ENISA head says https://www.euractiv.com/section/cybersecurity/news/political-need-for-5g-cybersecurity-certification-enisa-head-says/
OSW: Analyses, 23/10/2019: Germany is open to Huawei’s participation in 5G https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/analyses/2019-10-23/germany-open-to-huaweis-participation-5g
Foreign Policy, 27/11/2019: Europe’s Backlash Against Huawei Has Arrived https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/27/europe-huawei-backlash-merkel-germany-summit/
Deutsche Welle, 18/12/2019: Huawei boss Liang Hua: 'Our top priority is to ensure survival' https://p.dw.com/p/3UxnM
ECFR: Commentary, 19/12/2019: Europe and China after Brexit: The 5G question https://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_europe_and_china_after_brexit_the_5g_question
South EU Summit, 12/01/2020: Questions Over Cyber Security Cause Uncertainty in Europe https://www.southeusummit.com/europe/questions-over-cyber-security-cause-uncertainty-in-europe/
The Economist, 23/01/2020: Angela Merkel is loth to take sides over Huawei https://www.economist.com/europe/2020/01/23/angela-merkel-is-loth-to-take-sides-over-huawei
BBC News, 28/01/2020: How will the Huawei 5G deal affect me? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/technology-51289278/how-will-the-huawei-5g-deal-affect-me
Institute for Government: Blog Comment, 28/01/2020: A decade of reform has left the government better equipped to take the Huawei decision https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/decade-reform-has-left-government-better-equipped-take-huawei-decision
The Guardian, 30/01/2020: Boris Johnson is still triumphant. Huawei shows that won’t last https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/30/boris-johnson-huawei-brexit-prime-minister-government
Euro|topics, January 2020: UK allows Huawei to build parts of its 5G network https://www.eurotopics.net/en/234331/
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 30/01/2020: Judy Asks: Should Europe Ban Huawei’s 5G? https://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/80928
Foreign Policy, 31/01/2020: Britain Knows It’s Selling Out Its National Security to Huawei https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/31/boris-johnson-britain-knows-its-selling-out-its-national-security-to-huawei/

News
Politico, 19/03/2019: Merkel pushes back on calls for Huawei ban in Germany https://www.politico.eu/article/merkel-pushes-back-on-calls-for-huawei-ban-in-germany/
EurActiv, 16/04/2019: Belgian cybersecurity agency finds no threat from Huawei, as US increase pressure https://www.euractiv.com/section/5g/news/belgian-cybersecurity-agency-finds-no-threat-from-huawei-as-us-increase-pressure/
EurActiv, 26/04/2019: UK minister: Huawei leaks ‘unacceptable’, criminal investigation possible https://www.euractiv.com/section/5g/news/uk-minister-huawei-leaks-unacceptable-criminal-investigation-possible/
Politico, 15/05/2019: Trump signs order setting stage to ban Huawei from US https://www.politico.eu/article/trump-signs-order-setting-stage-to-ban-huawei-from-us/
EurActiv, 16/05/2019: Europe must maintain own course after US blacklisted Huawei, Germany says https://www.euractiv.com/section/cybersecurity/news/europe-must-maintain-own-course-after-us-blacklisted-huawei-germany-says/
Politico, 16/05/2019: Macron: Blocking Huawei ‘not best way to defend national security’ https://www.politico.eu/article/macron-block-huawei-not-best-way-to-defend-national-security/
Deutsche Welle, 16/05/2019: EU leaders: We won't follow Trump's Huawei ban https://p.dw.com/p/3Icme
Politico, 20/05/2019: Trump’s Huawei ban spooks allies, industry https://www.politico.eu/article/huawei-donald-trump-china-plan-to-isolate-irks-allies-spooks-business/
EurActiv, 21/05/2019: Huawei: US founding fathers would be ‘alarmed’ with Trump administration https://www.euractiv.com/section/5g/news/huawei-us-founding-fathers-would-be-alarmed-with-trump-administration/
Deutsche Welle, 24/05/2019: Huawei at center of US-China trade conflict https://p.dw.com/p/3J3R5
Deutsche Welle, 29/05/2019: Huawei: US wants to 'put us out of business' https://p.dw.com/p/3JUEr
BBC News, 29/05/2019: Huawei: US blacklist will harm billions of consumers https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48441814
Deutsche Welle, 31/05/2019: China retaliatory tariffs on US goods come into force https://p.dw.com/p/3JYmY
Deutsche Welle, 02/06/2019: Trade war 'hasn't made America great again,' says China https://p.dw.com/p/3JcY2
Euronews, 03/06/2019: Britain listens to the United States on Huawei, Hunt says https://www.euronews.com/2019/06/03/britain-listens-to-the-united-states-on-huawei-hunt-says
Reuters, 07/06/2019: Europe's 5G to cost $62 billion more if Chinese vendors banned: telcos https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN1T80Y3
EUObserver, 07/06/2019: China's Huawei sign deal to build Russia's 5G network https://euobserver.com/tickers/145105
EUObserver, 13/06/2019: China's UK ambassador warns London over Huawei https://euobserver.com/tickers/145139
Politico, 16/06/2019: EU must improve 5G and boost technology, say top companies https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-technology-5g-ai-companies/
EurActiv, 17/06/2019: US ambassador: Europe should forget Huawei, embrace Western tech https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/interview/us-ambassador-europe-should-forget-huawei-embrace-western-tech/
Politico, 25/07/2019: Ericsson boss bemoans lack of European support on 5G https://www.politico.eu/article/borje-ekholm-global-5g-battle-ericsson-ceo-bemoans-lack-of-european-support/
Politico, 30/07/2019: Huawei says US campaign hit business in Europe, no ‘major disruption’ overall https://www.politico.eu/article/huawei-says-us-campaign-caused-impact-on-business-in-europe/
BBC News, 12/09/2019: Huawei chief offers to share 5G know-how for a fee https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49673144
Reuters, 20/09/2019: Europe's China telecoms gear ban would cost industry $3.5 billion: report https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1W51FJ
EurActiv, 19/09/2019: Chinese ambassador asks EU for evidence that Huawei is a ‘security threat‘ https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-china/news/chinese-ambassador-asks-eu-for-evidence-that-huawei-is-a-security-threat/
Reuters, 14/10/2019: New German rules leave 5G telecoms door open to Huawei https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN1WT11F
Reuters, 15/10/2019: Despite political headwinds, Huawei wins 5G customers in Europe https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1WU2GI
Foreign Policy, 21/10/2019: Germany Chooses China Over the West https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/21/germany-merkel-chooses-china-over-united-states-eu-huawei/
Politico, 22/10/2019: German MPs urge Merkel to keep Huawei out of 5G network https://www.politico.eu/article/german-mps-huawei-5g-network-germany-angela-merkel/
Politico, 20/11/2019: Merkel allies urge change of tack on Huawei https://www.politico.eu/article/merkel-allies-urge-change-of-tack-on-huawei/
Deutsche Welle, 22/11/2019: Angela Merkel faces party revolt over Huawei in German 5G rollout https://p.dw.com/p/3TYQl
Bloomberg, 12/12/2019: Merkel Faces Revolt Over Huawei as Lawmakers Seek Full Ban https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-12/merkel-faces-revolt-over-huawei-as-lawmakers-seek-full-ban
Reuters, 20/01/2020: Merkel seeks to delay German Huawei position until after March EU summit: sources https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN1ZJ1MS
BBC News, 28/01/2020: Huawei set for limited role in UK 5G networks https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51283059
The Guardian, 29/01/2020: Johnson faces Tory rebellion after allowing Huawei 5G role https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/29/johnson-faces-tory-rebellion-over-huawei-5g-plans-for-britain
Reuters, 29/01/2020: Pompeo to Britain: Look again at Huawei 5G decision https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN1ZS1MC
EurActiv, 29/01/2020: 5G rollout will lead to an ‘increased exposure to attacks,’ EU says https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/5g-rollout-will-lead-to-an-increased-exposure-to-attacks-eu-says/
Politico, 03/02/2020: Poland wants to go beyond EU on 5G security, says minister https://www.politico.eu/article/poland-wants-to-go-beyond-5g-security-toolbox-restrictions/
EurActiv, 05/02/2020: Huawei promises ‘Made in Europe’ 5G for EU https://www.euractiv.com/section/5g/news/huawei-promises-made-in-europe-5g-for-eu/
The Guardian, 05/02/2020: Vodafone to remove Huawei from core European networks https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/05/vodafone-to-remove-huawei-from-core-european-networks
EurActiv, 10/02/2020: China to France: Don’t discriminate against Huawei on 5G networks https://www.euractiv.com/section/5g/news/china-to-france-dont-discriminate-against-huawei-on-5g-networks/
EurActiv, 12/02/2020: German Conservatives vote ‘in unison’ against excluding Huawei from 5G network https://www.euractiv.com/section/5g/news/german-conservatives-vote-in-unison-against-excluding-huawei-from-5g-network/

Official
European Commission: Towards 5G https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/5G

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