Full text 
Verbatim report of proceedings
Wednesday, 13 February 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

27. Security threats connected with the rising Chinese technological presence in the EU and possible action on the EU level to reduce them (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärungen des Rates und der Kommission zu den Sicherheitsbedrohungen im Zusammenhang mit der zunehmenden technologischen Präsenz Chinas in der EU und möglichen Maßnahmen zu ihrer Verringerung auf EU-Ebene (2019/2575(RSP)).


  George Ciamba, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, thank you for this opportunity to exchange views on the topical issue of security and technology and the relevant international developments. As you are aware, the European Council also attaches great importance to security and technology. Last year, both in June and October, it addressed questions of internal security, especially regarding cybersecurity.

The Romanian Council Presidency has also made cybersecurity part of a broader package that deals with hybrid threats to the European elections, and one of the main issues that we have to address, as mentioned, is to gather information on this.

Cybersecurity is indeed one of the main challenges we are facing as attacks are capable of causing serious economic damage and of violating privacy and fundamental rights. Recent cybersecurity events in some Member States are not a new trend but just the latest example of the most negative downside of the internet.

However, no economic growth can be achieved without a stable and secure environment. During the last year cybersecurity has become a matter of highest political priority and a constant topic on the agenda. The ambitious cybersecurity package presented by the Commission in September 2017 was followed the by a set of Council conclusions and an action plan for their implementation. These emphasised the need to enhance the EU’s capacity to prevent, deter and respond to cyber—attacks.

The Cyber Security Act – an important part of the package – will be formally adopted in the coming weeks. This will create a strong and permanent mandate for the European Union Cybersecurity Agency (ENISA) and will enhance cybersecurity certification.

The Council is also making progress in the discussions on the proposal for a regulation establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial Technology and Research Centre and network of coordination centres. It is the Presidency’s intention to reach a general approach on this important file in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, the EU has stepped up its response by adopting a cyber—diplomacy toolbox. This framework offers the full use of measures within the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including, if needed, restrictive measures.

As regards China, the EU is committed to opening trading relations with this country. We should not forget that China is the EU’s second biggest trading partner, after the US. However, access to the Chinese markets for EU companies remains highly restricted and China ranks among the least open economies to foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow, in particular in certain key sectors.

In contrast, the European market is fully open to Chinese investment, despite the lack of reciprocity. China is not only becoming a more prominent international investor but is increasingly focusing on high—tech sectors as targets for its acquisitions. The EU is also addressing forced technology transfers in China. In particular, in June 2018, the EU filed a dispute settlement case in the World Trade Organization, supplemented in December 2018, against Chinese practices that force European companies to give up sensitive technology and know—how as a precondition for investing in China.

We are strengthening our tools for responding to the possible risks that certain investments could pose to our security or essential interests of the Union. In this regard, this House will be voting this week on a very important piece of legislation – the Investment Screening Regulation. The regulation will establish a framework for screening by the Member States and for a mechanism for cooperation in the exchange of information about investments from third countries.

The regulation is country—neutral and is not directed at China. It will be applied towards foreign direct investment from all third countries, without differentiating, and is fully in line with the EU’s and Member States’ international commitments. The framework is strictly focused on security and public order, which the EU interprets in a narrow sense. As such, it is not intended to discourage foreign investments but, on the contrary, to enable such investments in sensitive areas by addressing and mitigating risks relating to security and public order.

We welcome the excellent cooperation of the European Parliament in this file, which will lead to its adoption in the coming months. I look forward to listening to this debate and I want once more to repeat that the Romanian Council Presidency is fully committed towards fighting for cybersecurity and fighting against interference from abroad and, at the same time, for doing more investments but having in mind as well how we protect our fundamental rights and freedoms in Europe.


  Julian King, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, securing our critical digital infrastructure is not a question we can leave for some future date. It’s not a question to be left to the next Parliament. It’s not even a question for next week. Cyber and cyber—enabled threats already pose a significant challenge to our European Union. This is not going to change any time soon, and with the emergence of new technologies – which will change our entire connected lives – we need to be thinking right now about our digital security requirements.

It’s no surprise that the resilience of critical digital infrastructures, including in relation to the imminent rollout of 5G technology, has aroused healthy debate in Member States around the role of third-country technology providers, not least in the light of the 2017 Chinese National Intelligence Law. To those who have questioned why we are discussing this, and to those who have tried to warn us off, I want to say this: it’s absolutely right that we should be discussing this. It’s entirely legitimate, and indeed necessary. 5G infrastructure will be the backbone of our digital economy, providing mission-critical services, not only for consumer services, but for a myriad of other sectors – transport, energy, health, defence and the security sector – and it will not be easy to replace once it is installed. Securing this critical digital infrastructure is necessary to protect our government, our industry, our democratic institutions, our personal information, and indeed, our core values, such as the protection of fundamental rights and data protection. Driving this urgent work forward and building stronger coordination among Member States will be essential to our joint efforts to increase our collective digital resilience.

There are, as has already been mentioned, a number of instruments in place which can be used to boost that resilience. For a start, while 5G standards are global, theoretically allowing suppliers from anywhere in the world to do business here in Europe, anyone who wants to access the EU market needs to comply with our rules. Member States have the right to take measures against companies, for reasons of national security.

The regulation on screening of foreign direct investments (FDI) into the EU, as has just been underlined, will allow the Commission and Member States to cooperate in their assessment of potential security risks, including cyber—related threats posed by foreign investments. The regulation will establish a mechanism enabling Member States and the Commission to assist each other where a foreign investment in critical technology infrastructure, as in other sectors, could affect the security or public order interests of other Member States or of the Union itself. The Commission will also be able to issue opinions – in particular when Union projects and programmes are potentially at risk. In this way, the regulation will help ensure Member States have the information they need when making key decisions on their critical digital infrastructures.

As my colleague Commissioner Malmström said to this Chamber a little earlier today, by concluding the work on the FDI screening regulation, the Union is sending a strong message to its partners. We are open to foreign investment, but a condition of being open is to be able to trust that foreign investors will not threaten our security and our strategic interests.

As well as who is supplying our infrastructure, we also need to consider how cyber-secure it will be once it’s in place, once we’re using it. Again, there are measures in place to boost cybersecurity at EU level. For example, most Member States have already transposed into national law the Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS) Directive. That was the first EU—wide legislation in this area, and for any Member States who have not yet transposed this, I think they would be well advised to do so. The Directive seeks to develop national cybersecurity capabilities, increase EU—level cooperation and ensure that operators of essential services, including certain digital service providers, adopt appropriate risk management measures and report significant incidents to their national authorities.

Again, as has been underlined, the Cybersecurity Act that we reached agreement on last December will soon be adopted and published. It reinforces the mandate of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), creating a genuine European cybersecurity agency, better to support Member States in tackling cyber threats and attacks. The Act also establishes an EU framework for cybersecurity certification, boosting the cybersecurity of online services and consumer devices. I think that we can expect 5G infrastructure to be an important element of the Agency’s work.

Finally, negotiations are underway on the proposal for a European cybersecurity research and competence centre and network, which will stimulate the development and deployment of cybersecurity technology and complement the capacity-building efforts in this area at EU— and national levels. These various measures create the right kind of incentives to enhance cybersecurity products and services in the EU, both for business and consumers, and along supply chains. But we need to work together – the institutions, our agencies and the Member States – to make use of the various provisions and powers. Together, we need to demonstrate the necessary political will to better assure our digital security, and it’s vital that we remain vigilant to all the cyber and cyber—enabled threats, including those to our digital infrastructure, given that they will continue to evolve and they will continue to be cross-border.

For our part, the Commission is committed to continue working with Member States and the other European institutions on these issues. Thank you for organising this debate this evening. I think it’s very important.


  Jiří Pospíšil, za skupinu PPE. – Paní předsedající, já chci říci, že toto téma je pro moji frakci mimořádně důležité. Musím konstatovat, pane komisaři, že jsem se zájmem vyslechl Vaše vystoupení, které bylo zajímavé, ale podle mého názoru velmi obecné. Ten bod, který zde řešíme, se týká přímo firem, které jsou spojeny s Čínou, s konkrétní zemí. A ten bod zde neřešíme náhodou, řešíme ho proto, protože v posledních několika měsících jsou zde zkrátka v některých členských státech EU problémy spojené s bezpečnostními riziky konkrétních čínských firem.

Já jsem z České republiky, kde se tento problém týká dvou čínských firem, a chci konstatovat, nevím, jestli tu informaci máte, že dne 17. prosince 2018 vydal Český národní úřad pro kybernetickou a informační bezpečnost jasné varování před dvěma čínskými firmami, a to Huawei a ZTE. Česká republika není jediná země EU, která teď aktuálně tyto problémy na svém území řeší. Je to aktuální problém, potýká se s tím určitým způsobem naše vláda, podle mého názoru dosti alibisticky. Nehledě na to, co konstatuje český prezident, který více méně velmi zlehčuje varování tohoto odborného úřadu.

Já jsem proto přesvědčený, že by evropské orgány, Evropská komise, měly na tyto problémy aktuálně reagovat. A to případně v rámci své legislativy nebo alespoň tím, že tedy se povede debata mezi členskými státy, že zde bude pokus koordinovat nějaký společný postup v zájmu ochrany evropské bezpečnosti. Já bych byl velmi rád, kdyby takováto iniciativa Komise zde byla, kdybychom byli schopni udělat nějakou společnou, silnou reakci, jako to udělaly USA v srpnu minulého roku nebo jak to udělal např. Nový Zéland nebo Austrálie. Je to podle mne nutné, protože špionáž a zneužívání dat nezná národních hranic, a bude třeba učinit jednu evropskou reakci.


  Петър Курумбашев, от името на групата S&D. – Нека да подчертая, че и аз ще се радвам да има обща позиция на Европейския съюз, а не да има отделни позиции на различните държави членки, защото само така позицията на Съюза ще може да бъде уважавана повече.

Също така искам да подчертая, че когато има обвинения, е хубаво да има и доказателства. Между другото, има обвинения към китайски компании, че може би изнасят данни за своето правителство. Аз ще се радвам да чуя същото и за американски компании и да разберем дали американски компании имат възможност да изнасят данни към своето правителство. Изобщо, ние трябва да сме сигурни на територията на Европейския съюз, че никой не си позволява да нарушава европейското законодателство. Ето, например, GDPR е един отличен пример, едно пионерство в законодателството, което доста, дори и американски компании, казаха, че ще прилагат в целия свят.

Току-що приехме Закона за киберсигурност. Там, например, е създадена възможността за сертификационни схеми. Ето една отлична работа за ENISA. Нека да създаде сертификационна схема за 5G оборудване, която да бъде прилагана на територията на Европейския съюз, а мисля, че такава сертификационна схема може да бъде предложена и в целия свят. Нека ENISA да използва своя удвоен бюджет, който току-що беше потвърден от Европейския парламент, именно за да могат да се чувстват европейските граждани по-сигурни в тази нова 5G технология.


  Pavel Telička, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, I will exceptionally speak in my mother language, so please do use your headphones.

Paní předsedající, v prvé řadě bych chtěl ocenit to, co řekl pan komisař King. Já jsem se v uplynulých měsících se svými spoluzpravodaji zabýval celkem podrobně legislativou o kybernetické bezpečnosti, kterou Evropská komise navrhla. Já si myslím, že je to podstatný posun, a je škoda, že tato problematika nevyvolávala větší zájem napříč politickým spektrem v tomto Parlamentu, ale především v členských státech.

To, na co jsme naráželi, je, že v členských zemích se zatím nezměnilo myšlení, to čemu říkáme mindset. Já si pamatuji na jednání v rámci trialogu, jak složité bylo přesvědčit členské státy, byť k dílčím posunům. Tzn. tu legislativní infrastrukturu, kterou teď vytváříme, já si myslím, že to je klíčový krok. A co potřebujeme? Musíme to umět naplnit. Musíme mít tu vůli, abychom to rychle transponovali, abychom vybudovali institucionální infrastrukturu. Já jsem rád, že v České republice ji máme, možná ještě není na úrovni Německa, Británie, Francie, ale je velmi kvalitní. Ale to, co skutečně pokulhává, je uvědomění si na politické úrovni v členských zemích, ale zároveň schopnost domyslet ta rizika, která tady stojí. To není otázka jenom špionáže, to je otázka možná do budoucna podstatně závažnější. Takže já si myslím, že toto je krok, který musíme učinit, a je škoda, jak už tady zaznělo, že česká politická reprezentace nejenomže toto torpéduje, ale prakticky je na druhé straně stolu.

Poslední poznámka, já oceňuji to, co řekl pan ministr. My v tuto chvíli také musíme umět chránit náš trh, ale zároveň pronikat na zahraniční trhy, tzn. tady v tomto směru je absolutní nevyváženost a reciprocita musí být naším primárním principem.


  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, Herr Kommissar, Herr Ratsvertreter! Wer geglaubt hat, dass in China nur noch Plastikspielzeug hergestellt wird, für den wird es nun, glaube ich, Zeit, neue Erkenntnisse zu gewinnen.

China ist eine Raumfahrtnation. Das Land hat Technologie- und Mobilitätskonzerne von Weltklasse hervorgebracht. Die Sorgfalt bei der Verarbeitung und Montage testen Sie wahrscheinlich selbst täglich mit Ihrem Telefon oder Ihrem Computer. Bei den Zukunftstechnologien Künstliche Intelligenz und Elektromobilität sind chinesische Hersteller ihren europäischen Konkurrenten inzwischen voraus. Diese Kluft trifft auch zwischen dem Silicon Valley und meinetwegen dem Huawei-Konzern zu, wenn wir über die 5G-Technologie sprechen. Ich glaube, darüber müssen wir uns einfach noch einmal verständigen.

Wir brauchen nämlich keiner Ausgrenzung oder hilflose Versuche einer Eindämmung. Wir brauchen Kooperation, um mit den Themen – auch der digitalen Sicherheit –umzugehen. In der EU arbeiten heute bereits mehr als 180 000 Menschen für diesen größten chinesischen Technologiekonzern – übrigens ein Privatunternehmen, egal, wie laut auch die Medien darüber berichten. Zusammenarbeit schafft aber auch Perspektiven für die Beschäftigten, und das trifft auch für viele andere global agierende Unternehmen aus anderen Staaten zu.

Zusammenarbeit brauchen wir auch, um die notwendige Regulierung für die neuen Technologien aus China mit China und multilateral zu entwerfen. Nur so können wir Missbrauch und Fälle von Datendiebstahl – durch wen auch immer, das ist wirklich ein reales Thema –, die durch die technologische Entwicklung möglich werden, verhindern. In diese Richtung, Herr Kommissar, wollen wir die Debatte gerne mit Ihnen weiterentwickeln.


  Reinhard Bütikofer, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, Herr Ratsvertreter, werte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Das heißeste Thema mit Blick auf Chinas technische Präsenz in Europa ist sicherlich das Thema 5G. Und dabei spielt die Firma Huawei, die gerade vom Kollegen Scholz angesprochen wurde, eine besondere Rolle. Sie, Herr Kommissar, haben schon auf das chinesische nationale Intelligence-Gesetz hingewiesen.

Lassen Sie mich es explizit sagen: Wir sollten von Australien lernen. Dort hat man die Konsequenz gezogen, die ich auch für uns für richtig halte: Wir können einem Unternehmen nicht vertrauen, das durch die Gesetze des eigenen Landes verpflichtet ist, auf Verlangen den Behörden dieses Landes Daten seiner Kunden zur Verfügung zu stellen und den Kunden diesen Datentransfer zu verschweigen. Ein solches Unternehmen kann nicht Bestandteil des Kerns unserer Infrastruktur im 5G-Bereich sein. Und wir sollten eine gemeinsame europäische Lösung finden, weil diese Diskussion heute in vielen verschiedenen europäischen Ländern läuft.

Ich glaube, insgesamt ist das Thema allerdings viel breiter. Und viele Stichworte sind genannt worden, von investment screening über cyber security, Technologieexport könnte man nennen. Ich bin einverstanden, Kollege Scholz, zu sagen: Wir wollen Kooperation. Aber wir können Kooperation nicht auf der blauäugigen Annahme als Basis, dass das ohnehin zum gegenseitigen Vorteil sein wird, betreiben. Wir müssen unsere Interessen und Werte dabei schützen.


  Jonathan Arnott, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Madam President, I must admit that I feel a certain irony about tonight’s debate as a British MEP speaking to a British Commissioner in the European Parliament, 44 days before Brexit, about security threats affecting the UK. But post-Brexit neighbourly cooperation remains important. We know that the Chinese Government is particularly sensitive about suggestions that there could be any security risks regarding the introduction of 5G technology, and indeed they even went so far as to take out a full-page advertisement in the Daily Telegraph to attempt to assuage those concerns. And perhaps one of the biggest difficulties for me – or indeed for anyone watching this debate – is to assess the nature of evidence which isn’t in the public domain. For example, the director of the FBI claims that Huawei smartphones can conduct undetected espionage and maliciously modify or steal information, but to what extent can this be done? What the hard evidence is remains something of a mystery.

Likewise, the arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of the American Government raises concerns. And if it were just the United States, then it would be tempting to impute an ulterior motive – to suggest that it could simply be a US response to a free market challenge to the US’s decades of tech dominance. But it’s not just the USA; there are concerns from Australia, from Japan, from a number of other European nations closer to home. The British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said that he has very deep concerns about Chinese involvement in 5G networks. And if there is a risk, then it must be a very big one. Why? Because every government – every government – has an interest in raising billions through 5G auctions, and the Chinese companies are bound to be the leading competitors in those auctions. And it’s a big risk for another reason: because security matters; because, ultimately, it’s a matter of national protection, national defence and national sovereignty.

Our response to this kind of situation demands the careful consideration of all the evidence, and I believe that the UK’s response needs to be dependent on three fundamental questions. Firstly, what is the level of risk of back-door routes being installed, potentially at the direction of the Chinese Government, which would enable industrial espionage to take place? Secondly, what is the level of risk that the Chinese Government could mandate the disclosure of information held by Chinese tech companies in the UK, potentially even putting Chinese citizens at risk? Thirdly, to what extent will countries become over-reliant on the 5G networks; a situation which, bluntly – if we find out later that we’ve made a mistake –would be difficult to correct.

Any response at all bears the danger of being overly cautious, overly protectionist, to the extent that we ultimately find ourselves excluding technology from overseas, but that has to be balanced against broader security questions, and to me the question of risk management is essentially very similar to the question of the precautionary principle. What is the level of evidence needed for us to act? I don’t see this is a question of proof beyond reasonable doubt – maybe not a question of proof at all, but a question of protection. If we have a lack of absolute scientific certainty, on which side should we bear the risk? It’s a philosophical question as much as a practical one, but I believe that to make practical judgments we need a little bit better information as to the level and nature of the risk.


  Gilles Lebreton, au nom du groupe ENF. – Madame la Présidente, il est dangereux d’utiliser les téléphones portables de l’entreprise chinoise Huawei. Ils constituent en effet, très probablement, une gigantesque source de renseignements pour les services d’espionnage du gouvernement chinois. La captation de ces renseignements semble avoir déjà permis à la Chine de voler des technologies occidentales.

Plusieurs États démocratiques ont déjà exprimé leur inquiétude à ce sujet, comme le Canada, l’Australie, la Pologne et la Belgique. Et le 28 janvier dernier, la justice américaine a officiellement accusé Huawei d’avoir volé des technologies américaines. Quant à la République tchèque, elle vient de l’exclure d’un appel d’offres.

L’Union européenne ne peut plus rester inerte: un Commissaire européen, Andrus Ansip, l’a déjà mise en garde contre cette entreprise chinoise. Il faut maintenant agir. J’attends du Parlement européen qu’il diligente une enquête et du Conseil européen qu’il recommande aux États membres de l’Union de prendre immédiatement leurs précautions.


  Paul Rübig (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich glaube, Protektionismus ist die falsche Antwort. Es gibt einen internationalen Wettbewerb. Und backdoors gibt es in der Software, in der Hardware, sie werden vielfach auf allen Kontinenten angeboten.

Deshalb, glaube ich, ist es wichtig, dass man sich auf vertrauensbildende Maßnahmen konzentriert und hier insbesondere vielleicht auch die Ausschreibungen dementsprechend neu gestaltet, dass eben eine Firma und Institution die Architektur des Systems dementsprechend designed, dass dann eine zweite Firma die Produktion für die Hardware und Software installiert und eine dritte Firma die Wartung und den Betrieb sichert. Dann hat man drei unterschiedliche Firmen oder Institutionen, die im Detail kennen müssen, wie das System funktioniert. Dann hat man auch Sicherheit. Und wenn dann eine dieser Firmen noch das Headquarter in Europa hat, dann haben wir zwei internationale Anbieter, auf die wir auch vertrauen können, die zertifiziert sind und wo man verlässlich sehen kann, wie das funktioniert.

Wir haben ja den Cyber Security Act, und wir haben auch die Cyber Security Competence Centres, die wir jetzt einrichten wollen. Mit der Datenschutz-Grundverordnung und letztlich auch mit der Copyright-Richtlinie, wo heute eine Einigung gefunden wurde, hat sich Europa hier schon sehr viel einfallen lassen. Wir haben ENISA, wir haben die NIS-Richtlinie – also es gibt hier schon sehr viel, und wir müssen auf diesem Gebiet weiterarbeiten.


  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Paní předsedající, já bych chtěl především vyzdvihnout vystoupení pana ministra Ciamby, protože mně se opravdu jeho vystoupení líbilo, on vyzdvihl rizika, řídil se principem předběžné opatrnosti, zejména právě v bezpečnostních otázkách, které nelze podceňovat. Kybernetická bezpečnost se stává jedním z klíčových aspektů. My zde máme především problém s technologií 5G, která je navázána na čínskou společnost, která je skutečně nespolehlivým partnerem. A my potřebujeme evropskou reakci a tuto klíčovou evropskou infrastrukturu vlastnit v evropských rukách. Já mám téměř sto chutí poslat přepis vystoupení pana ministra Ciamby české vládě, která relativizuje tento problém, a také českému prezidentovi, který je přímo obchodní zástupce čínských zájmů v Evropské unii.

Myslím si, že je dobré nepodceňovat toto téma. Bavíme se o rizicích, která mohou opravdu ohrozit krádež dat. Já vítám i slova pana komisaře, pokud jde o screening přímých investic, ale v tomto případě se bavíme o legislativě, která ještě není hotová, my potřebujeme reakci teď, společnou, evropskou, jako například Austrálie.


Spontane Wortmeldungen


  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, ο ανταγωνισμός μεταξύ Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, ΗΠΑ, Ρωσίας και Κίνας εντείνεται και δημιουργεί, βεβαίως, αρκετά προβλήματα σε ευρωπαϊκές επιχειρήσεις και στην ευρωπαϊκή οικονομία, διότι σε αυτήν τη φάση εμφανίζονται πολύ ισχυρές οι κινεζικές επιχειρήσεις, οι οποίες επιχειρούν να αγοράσουν εταιρείες στρατηγικού χαρακτήρα στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Επομένως, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, για δικούς της λόγους, επιβάλλει περιορισμούς στις επενδύσεις, όσο και αν δεν θέλει να το παραδεχθεί. Αυτοί οι περιορισμοί μπορεί να επιβληθούν για λόγους δημόσιας τάξης και δημόσιας ασφάλειας. Το έχουν κάνει ήδη από την πλευρά τους οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες. Άρα, λοιπόν, αυτό είναι κάτι που το συζητήσαμε και στην προγενέστερη συζήτηση. Είναι δεδομένο ότι είναι υπαρκτοί οι λόγοι για την τεχνολογική ασφάλεια, αναπτύχθηκαν, και —ως εκ τούτου— διαμορφώνει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση ένα σύστημα προκειμένου να αμυνθεί απέναντι στις παρεμβάσεις της Κίνας.


(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)


  Julian King, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, I agree with everyone who said that this is a very important subject, a very important debate. I would even have welcomed this debate slightly earlier in the day, with the opportunity to have slightly more people in the Chamber, because while we may be discussing technology that is not yet part of our everyday lives, it soon will be. And the fact that it will form the backbone infrastructure connecting everything means that we now have to think very seriously about how to get security right from the outset, from the start.

Although 5G has, for understandable reasons, attracted the most attention in recent weeks, it’s not the only thing we need to be thinking about. Storing data in the cloud and artificial intelligence open up huge opportunities to make use of, or to abuse, huge volumes of personal data, to give just one other example. These issues raise challenges around national and EU—level decision—making, which won’t – let’s be frank – necessarily be easy to resolve.

Trying to protect everything won’t work. We need to decide what really matters, what is core in terms of the digital ecosystem, and whether greater transparency around suppliers, supply chains and foreign investment is enough to offset the security risks. It may be that some pieces of backbone digital infrastructure are simply too critical for us to risk.

These issues are also inherently geopolitical. So I think the solutions need to reflect our – Europe’s – particular perspective based around keeping markets open and trade fair. Security concerns are not an excuse for arbitrary protectionism but, equally, we can’t ignore those concerns. We need to think strategically around these issues of security. As far as the Commission is concerned, we take these issues very seriously. We will be working on them, and I look forward to continuing our cooperative work with you on this whole range of issues.


  George Ciamba, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, I think this has been a very useful debate, and I would like to assure everyone that the Presidency of Romania of the Council will keep this issue in mind in future debates in the Council. We also took note, in particular, of what the Commission has said here, and let me also assure you once again that the Presidency and the Council as a whole attaches great importance to preserving cybersecurity, a matter of the highest political priority and a constant topic of attention.


  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

(Die gemäß Artikel 123 Absatz 2 GO einzureichenden Entschließungsanträge werden zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt bekannt gegeben.)

Die Abstimmung findet während der nächsten Tagung statt.

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