Provision of 5G Technology in Europe

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Publication Date 2019-
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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.

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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 (UK), 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 Links
Commentary and Analysis
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 27/12/2018: Huawei and Europe’s 5G Conundrum
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Commentary, 18/03/2019: Should Europe Buy Chinese 5G Technology?
Bruegel: Podcast, March 2019: Backstage: 5G deployment in Europe
EPRS: At a Glance, April 2019: 5G in the EU and Chinese telecoms suppliers
The Guardian, 24/04/2019: As Europe builds its 5G network, security – not cost – must come first
Euro|Topics, May 2019: Why is Washington lashing out at Huawei?
BBC News, 30/05/2019: How damaging is the Huawei row for the US and China?
Bloomberg, 31/05/2019: Huawei Is a Huge Challenge for Europe's Spies
Euro|Topics, May 2019: Huawei ban: US grants a reprieve
Politico: Special Reports: The State of 5G
BBC News, 15/07/2019: Does 5G pose health risks?
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
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 09/09/2019: Who’s Afraid of Huawei? Understanding the 5G Security Concerns
EurActiv, 23/10/2019: ‘Political need’ for 5G cybersecurity certification, ENISA head says
OSW: Analyses, 23/10/2019: Germany is open to Huawei’s participation in 5G
Foreign Policy, 27/11/2019: Europe’s Backlash Against Huawei Has Arrived
Deutsche Welle, 18/12/2019: Huawei boss Liang Hua: 'Our top priority is to ensure survival'
ECFR: Commentary, 19/12/2019: Europe and China after Brexit: The 5G question
South EU Summit, 12/01/2020: Questions Over Cyber Security Cause Uncertainty in Europe
The Economist, 23/01/2020: Angela Merkel is loth to take sides over Huawei
BBC News, 28/01/2020: 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
The Guardian, 30/01/2020: Boris Johnson is still triumphant. Huawei shows that won’t last
Euro|topics, January 2020: UK allows Huawei to build parts of its 5G network
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 30/01/2020: Judy Asks: Should Europe Ban Huawei’s 5G?
Foreign Policy, 31/01/2020: Britain Knows It’s Selling Out Its National Security to Huawei
Bloomberg, 14/02/2020: Pelosi Joins Trump in Warning Europe of Huawei’s 5G Threat
The New York Times, 17/02/2020: Huawei Is Winning the Argument in Europe, as the U.S. Fumbles to Develop Alternatives
UK in a Changing Europe: Analysis, 18/02/2020: Huawei and 5G: a preview of the UK’s future relations with China and the US
ECFR: Commentary, 18/02/2020: Europe, 5G, and Munich: The China challenge and American mission

Politico, 19/03/2019: 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
EurActiv, 26/04/2019: UK minister: Huawei leaks ‘unacceptable’, criminal investigation possible
Politico, 15/05/2019: 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
Politico, 16/05/2019: Macron: Blocking Huawei ‘not best way to defend national security’
Deutsche Welle, 16/05/2019: EU leaders: We won't follow Trump's Huawei ban
Politico, 20/05/2019: Trump’s Huawei ban spooks allies, industry
EurActiv, 21/05/2019: Huawei: US founding fathers would be ‘alarmed’ with Trump administration
Deutsche Welle, 24/05/2019: Huawei at center of US-China trade conflict
Deutsche Welle, 29/05/2019: Huawei: US wants to 'put us out of business'
BBC News, 29/05/2019: Huawei: US blacklist will harm billions of consumers
Deutsche Welle, 31/05/2019: China retaliatory tariffs on US goods come into force
Deutsche Welle, 02/06/2019: Trade war 'hasn't made America great again,' says China
Euronews, 03/06/2019: 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
EUObserver, 07/06/2019: China's Huawei sign deal to build Russia's 5G network
EUObserver, 13/06/2019: China's UK ambassador warns London over Huawei
Politico, 16/06/2019: EU must improve 5G and boost technology, say top companies
EurActiv, 17/06/2019: US ambassador: Europe should forget Huawei, embrace Western tech
Politico, 25/07/2019: Ericsson boss bemoans lack of European support on 5G
Politico, 30/07/2019: Huawei says US campaign hit business in Europe, no ‘major disruption’ overall
BBC News, 12/09/2019: Huawei chief offers to share 5G know-how for a fee
Reuters, 20/09/2019: Europe's China telecoms gear ban would cost industry $3.5 billion: report
EurActiv, 19/09/2019: 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
Reuters, 15/10/2019: Despite political headwinds, Huawei wins 5G customers in Europe
Foreign Policy, 21/10/2019: Germany Chooses China Over the West
Politico, 22/10/2019: German MPs urge Merkel to keep Huawei out of 5G network
Politico, 20/11/2019: Merkel allies urge change of tack on Huawei
Deutsche Welle, 22/11/2019: Angela Merkel faces party revolt over Huawei in German 5G rollout
Bloomberg, 12/12/2019: 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
BBC News, 28/01/2020: Huawei set for limited role in UK 5G networks
The Guardian, 29/01/2020: Johnson faces Tory rebellion after allowing Huawei 5G role
Reuters, 29/01/2020: Pompeo to Britain: Look again at Huawei 5G decision
EurActiv, 29/01/2020: 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
EurActiv, 05/02/2020: Huawei promises ‘Made in Europe’ 5G for EU
The Guardian, 05/02/2020: Vodafone to remove Huawei from core European networks
EurActiv, 10/02/2020: China to France: Don’t discriminate against Huawei on 5G networks
EurActiv, 12/02/2020: German Conservatives vote ‘in unison’ against excluding Huawei from 5G network
Politico, 15/02/2020: Europe turns deaf ear to US warnings on Chinese 5G

European Commission: Towards 5G

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