EU Commission publishes recommendation on 5G security risk
Following the EU Parliament’s resolution calling for action regarding potential cyber security threats from China, the EU Commission this week has published its recommendations for the use of 5G networks. Rather than calling for a ban on Huawei or other Chinese suppliers that pose potential risks, the EU Commission urged member states to conduct national risk assessments by June and will conduct its own by October of this year. A group of key cyber-security experts will then work to agree on EU wide measures by the end of the year. Additionally, countries were encouraged to share the data of their assessments with each other to develop a “toolbox of mitigating measures.”
The move by the EU defies the United States’ call to ban Chinese vendors outright. Over the last couple of months the administration in Washington had increasingly lobbied at national and EU level for an outright ban of the technology citing severe cyber security risks.
Rather, the EU Commission’s guidance calls for equipment to be purchased from trusted suppliers, which echoes a draft from the German government that will be finalised later this year. Germany is among several European countries which are set to auction off 5G licenses later this year, which adds to the pressure to act swiftly.
Since the Commission’s recommendation is non-binding, member states can individually choose to ban specific suppliers until more formal guidelines have been established.