The European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, has confirmed that the European Commission will restrict the access of the Chinese telemarketers Huawei and ZTE to the programs and financing instruments of the European Union because they represent “materially greater risks than other 5G providers”.
This was stated by the Danish in response to a parliamentary question from the Dutch MEP Bart Groothuis in which he stated that Brussels intends to reflect the risk posed by these telemarketers in the Commission’s opinion “in all relevant EU financing programs and instruments , including all parts of the Horizon Europe framework programme”, the Community’s research and innovation programme.
Last June, the Commission already supported a dozen Member States that decided to exclude these technology companies, something that Brussels demonstrated “absolutely justified” when considering that they are providers that pose serious risks to national security.
“Avoid exposure to Huawei and ZTE”
The commissioner for the Internal Market and in charge of Telecommunications, Thierry Breton, already announced then that the Community Executive will apply the same prerogatives in its own policy for contracting telecommunications and financing programs to “avoid exposure to Huawei and ZTE”.
The plan has now been confirmed by Vestager, who has acknowledged that it was not identified, at the time of adopting the Horizon Europe 2021-2022 work programmes, that those areas in which Huawei participated “put strategic assets at risk, interests, autonomy or security of the EU and, therefore, the limitations provided for do not apply”.
“However, following the communication on the application of 5G cybersecurity, in which the Commission considers that Huawei and ZTE represent, in fact, materially higher risks than other 5G providers, the Commission intends, in accordance with its powers under the respective governance rules, to reflect it in all relevant EU funding programs and instruments, including all parts of the Horizon Europe framework programme”, states the letter that the commissioner has sent to the European Parliament.