BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will next week urge EU countries to share more information to deal with cyber security risks associated with 5G networks, but will ignore US calls to ban Huawei Technologies, Four people are familiar with the issue, said on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: People walk past Huawei sign at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Asia 2018 in Shanghai, China June 14, 2018. REUTERS / Aly Song / File Photo
European Digital Manager Andrus Ansip presents recommendation on Tuesday. While the guidance does not have legal force, it will bear political importance which may eventually lead to national law in EU countries.
The United States has lobbied Europe to close Huawei, saying its equipment could be used by the Chinese government for espionage. Huawei has strongly rejected the claims and earlier this month the US government sued the issue.
Ansip will tell EU countries to use the tools set out in the EU Network and Information Security Directive, or the NIS Directive, adopted in 2016 and the recently approved Cybersecurity Act, the people said.
For example, Member States should exchange information and coordinate on impact assessment studies on safety risks and certification for internet connected devices and 5G equipment.
The Commission will not require a European ban on global market leader Huawei, allowing EU countries to decide on national security grounds.
"It is a recommendation to improve the exchange of security assessment of digital critical infrastructure," said one of the sources mentioned.
The Commission said the recommendation would highlight a common EU strategy for security risks for 5G networks.
The EU Executive Director marks a tighter stance on Chinese investment after years of almost indefinite European openness to China, which controls 70 percent of the global supply of critical commodities needed to make high-tech goods.
The measures, if taken on board, will be included in which French President Emmanuel Macron, as said Friday, was a "European awakening" of potential Chinese dominance, after EU leaders held a first discussion on China policy at a summit .
Germany this month set harder criteria for all telecom equipment providers without appointing Huawei and ignoring US pressure.
Large telecom operators oppose a Huawei ban and say that such a move could put back the 5G expansion in the block after years. However, Australia and New Zealand have stopped operators using Huawei equipment on their networks.
The industry sees 5G as the next money spins, with its promise to connect everything from vehicles to home appliances.
In addition to the Huawei issue, the block also plans to discuss Chinese contributions, state involvement in the Chinese economy and more access to the Chinese market at an EU-China Summit on 9 April.
Writing by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Edmund Blair