Procedure : 2019/2575(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0155/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 12/03/2019 - 9.22

Texts adopted :


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<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on security threats connected with the rising Chinese technological presence in the EU and possible action at EU level to reduce them</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Luděk Niedermayer, Angelika Niebler, Ivo Belet, Paul Rübig</Depute>

<Commission>{PPE}on behalf of the PPE Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0154/2019


European Parliament resolution on security threats connected with the rising Chinese technological presence in the EU and possible action at EU level to reduce them


The European Parliament,

 having regard to Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code[1],

 having regard to Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union[2],

 having regard to Directive 2013/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 August 2013 on attacks against information systems and replacing Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA[3],

 having regard to the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 13 September 2017, on ENISA, the ‘EU Cybersecurity Agency’, and repealing Regulation (EU) 526/2013, and on Information and Communication Technology cybersecurity certification (‘Cybersecurity Act’) (COM(2017)0477),

 having regard to the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 12 September 2018, establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres (COM(2018)0630),

 having regard to the adoption of the new National Intelligence Law by the Chinese National People’s Congress on 28 June 2017,

 having regard to the statements by the Council and the Commission of 13 February 2019 on security threats connected with the rising Chinese technological presence in the EU and possible action at EU level to reduce them,

 having regard to the adoption by the Australian Government of the Government’s Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms, in effect as of 18 September 2018,

 having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 14 February 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for screening of foreign direct investments into the European Union[4],

 having regard to its resolutions on EU-China relations, in particular that of 12 September 2018 on the state of EU China relations[5],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 14 September 2016 entitled ‘5G for Europe: an action plan’ (COM(2016)0588),

 having regard to its resolution of 1 June 2017 on internet connectivity for growth, competitiveness and cohesion: European gigabit society and 5G[6],

 having regard to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation)[7],

 having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010[8],

 having regard to the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Digital Europe programme for the period 2021-2027 (COM(2018)0434),

 having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the EU must drive forward its cybersecurity agenda in order for it to fulfil its potential in becoming a leading player in cybersecurity and use this to its industry’s advantage;

B. whereas vulnerabilities in 5G networks could be exploited in order to compromise IT systems, potentially causing very serious damage to economies at European and national levels; whereas a risk analysis-based approach across the value chain is necessary in order to minimise the risks;

C. whereas the 5G network will be the backbone of our digital infrastructure, extending the possibility to connect various devices to networks (internet of things, etc.), and will bring new benefits and opportunities to society and businesses in many areas, including critical sectors of the economy, including the transport, energy, health, finance, telecom, defence, space and security sectors;

D. whereas establishing an appropriate mechanism to respond to security challenges would give the EU the opportunity to actively take steps in setting standards for 5G;

E. whereas concerns were raised about third country equipment vendors that might present a security risk for the EU due to the laws of their country of origin, especially after the enactment of the Chinese State Security Laws, which provide obligations for all citizens, enterprises and other entities to cooperate with the state to safeguard state security; whereas there is no such guarantee that such obligations are without extra-territorial application, and whereas the reactions to the Chinese regulations have varied in a number of countries , ranging from security assessments to an outright ban;

F. whereas in December 2018, the Czech national authority for cybersecurity issued a warning against the security threats posed by the technologies provided by the Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE; whereas, subsequently, in January 2019, the Czech tax authorities excluded Huawei from a tender to build a tax portal;

G. whereas a thorough investigation is needed to clarify whether the devices involved, or any other devices or suppliers, pose security risks due to features such as backdoors to systems;

H. whereas solutions should be coordinated and dealt with at EU level in order to avoid different levels of security and potential gaps in cybersecurity; whereas coordination is also needed at global level in order to provide a strong response;

I. whereas the benefits of the single market come with the obligation to comply with EU standards and the Union’s legal framework and whereas suppliers should not be treated differently based on their country of origin;

J. whereas the Regulation on screening of foreign direct investment, which should enter into force by the end of 2020, reinforces Member States’ ability to screen foreign investment based on security and public order, and establishes a cooperation mechanism which allows the Commission and the Member States to cooperate in their assessment of security risks, including cybersecurity risks, posed by sensitive foreign investments, and also covers projects and programmes that are of EU interest, such as the Trans-European Networks for Telecommunications and Horizon 2020;

1. Believes that the Union must take the lead on cybersecurity, by means of a common approach based on the effective and efficient use of EU, Member State and industry expertise, since a patchwork of divergent national decisions would be detrimental to the digital single market;

2. Expresses deep concern about the recent allegations that 5G equipment developed by Chinese companies would contain embedded backdoors allowing manufacturers and authorities to have unauthorised access to data and telecommunications of EU citizens and businesses;

3. Is equally concerned about the potential presence of major vulnerabilities in the 5G equipment developed by these manufacturers if they were to be installed when rolling out 5G networks in the coming years;

4. Underlines that the implications for the security of networks and equipment are similar across the world and calls for the EU to draw lessons from the experience available to be able to ensure the highest standards of cybersecurity; calls on the Commission to develop a strategy that puts Europe in a leading position in cybersecurity technology and is aimed at reducing Europe’s dependency on foreign technology in the field of cybersecurity;

5. Calls on the Member States to inform the Commission of any national measure they intend to adopt in order to coordinate the Union’s response so as to ensure the highest standards of cybersecurity throughout the Union and reiterates the importance of refraining from introducing disproportionate unilateral measures that would fragment the single market;

6. Reiterates that any entities providing equipment or services in the EU, irrespective of their country of origin, must comply with fundamental rights obligations and with EU and Member State law, including the legal framework as regards privacy, data protection and cybersecurity;

7. Calls on the Commission to assess the robustness of the Union’s legal framework in order to address concerns about the presence of vulnerable equipment in strategic sectors and backbone infrastructure; urges the Commission to present initiatives, including legislative proposals where appropriate, to address in due time any shortfalls detected since the Union is in a constant process of identifying and addressing cybersecurity challenges and enhancing cybersecurity resilience in the EU;

8. Urges those Member States that have not yet fully transposed the Directive (EU) 2016/1148 on the security of network and information systems (NIS) to do so without delay and calls on the Commission to monitor this transposition closely to ensure that its provisions are properly enforced and that European citizens are better protected from external security threats;

9. Urges the Commission and Member States to make sure that the reporting mechanisms introduced by the NIS Directive are properly applied; notes that the Commission and Member States should thoroughly follow up on any security incidents or inappropriate reaction of suppliers so as to address detected gaps;

10. Calls on the Commission to assess the need to further enlarge the scope of the directive to other critical sectors and services that are not covered by specific legislation, such as network infrastructure;

11. Welcomes and supports the agreement reached on the Cybersecurity Act and the reinforcement of the mandate of the EU Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), in order to better support Member States in tackling cybersecurity threats and attacks;

12. Recalls that cybersecurity demands high security requirements; calls for a network that is secure by default and by design; urges the Member States, together with the Commission, to explore all available means to ensure a high level of security;

13. Urges the Commission to mandate ENISA to make it a priority to work on a certification scheme for 5G equipment in order to ensure that the rollout of 5G in the Union meets the highest security standards and is resilient to backdoors or major vulnerabilities that would endanger the security of the Union’s telecommunication networks and dependent services; recommends that special attention be given to commonly used processes, products and software that by their sheer scale have an important impact on the day-to-day life of citizens and the economy;

14. Warmly welcomes the proposals on cybersecurity competence centres and a network of national coordination centres, which is designed to help the EU retain and develop the technological and industrial capacities in cybersecurity that are needed to secure its digital single market;

15. Reaffirms its position on the Digital Europe programme, which imposes security requirements and Commission oversight on entities established in the EU but controlled from third countries, in particular for cybersecurity-related actions;

16. Calls on the Member States to ensure that public institutions and private companies involved in ensuring the proper functioning of critical infrastructure networks such as telecom, energy, health and social systems, undertake relevant risk analysis assessments taking into account the security threats specifically linked to technical features of the respective system or dependence on external suppliers of hardware and software technologies;

17. Recalls that the current legal framework on telecommunication mandates the Member States to ensure that telecoms operators comply with the integrity and availability of public electronic communications networks; highlights that, according to the European Electronic Communication Code, the Member States have all the powers necessary to investigate and apply a wide range of remedies in the event of non-compliance of products on the EU market;

18. Calls on the Commission and Member States to make security an obligatory aspect in all public procurement procedures for relevant infrastructure at both EU and national level;

19. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase transparency and security by developing multi-phase procurement procedures for ICT-infrastructure, which would allow the tenders on the architecture of these systems, their production, their operation and maintenance to be distinguished from each other and individual technology providers;

20. Reminds the Member States of their obligation under EU criminal law to impose sanctions, in particular criminal and non-criminal fines, on legal persons that have committed criminal offences such as attacks against information systems, illegal system interference, illegal data interference and illegal interception; emphasises that the Member States should also make use of the possibility of imposing other sanctions on these legal entities, such as the temporary or permanent disqualification from exercising commercial activities;

21. Expects national data protection authorities as well as the European Data Protection Supervisor to thoroughly investigate indications of data breaches by external vendors and to impose appropriate penalties and sanctions in line with European data protection law;

22. Welcomes the upcoming entry into force of a regulation establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments (FDI) for reasons of security and public order, and underlines that this regulation establishes for the first time a list of areas and factors, including communications and cybersecurity, which are relevant for security and public order at EU level;

23. Reiterates that the EU needs to support cybersecurity across the entire value chain, from research to the deployment and uptake of key technologies, disseminate relevant information, and promote cyber hygiene and education curricula about cybersecurity, and believes that, among other measures, the Digital Europe programme will be an efficient tool for that;

24. Urges the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary steps, including robust investment schemes, to create an innovation-friendly environment within the EU, which should be accessible to all businesses of the EU digital economy, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); further urges that such an environment should allow European vendors to develop new products, services and technologies, which would enable them to be competitive;

25. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.


[1] OJ L 321, 17.12.2018, p. 36

[2] OJ L 194, 19.7.2016, p. 1

[3] OJ L 218, 14.8.2013, p. 8.

[4] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0121.

[5] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0343.

[6] OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 144.

[7] OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1.

[8] OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 129.

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