Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted the resolution of 17 January 2024 on the security and defence implications of China’s influence on critical infrastructure in the European Union addressing several key concerns and recommendations including:
- China’s Economic Influence: The resolution highlights the risks arising from economic flows and dependencies on authoritarian regimes like China, particularly in the context of geopolitical tensions and technological shifts. It emphasizes the need to protect free market principles from distortion by such regimes.
- Critical Infrastructure Vulnerabilities: The resolution points out the significant negative consequences disruptions to critical infrastructure can have on government functions, essential services, economic activity, and the EU’s security and defense.
- China’s Military-Civil Fusion Strategy: The resolution underlines China’s strategy to use state and commercial power to support the Chinese Communist Party and its military, particularly in acquiring cutting-edge technologies for military dominance.
- Risks of Chinese Involvement in EU Strategic Assets: Concerns are raised about Chinese companies’ involvement in EU strategic assets, especially those with links to China’s political-military or intelligence systems.
- Diversification and Regulatory Oversight: It advocates for diversification of suppliers and partners in critical infrastructure and increased regulatory oversight, including background checks on entities with ties to the Chinese government.
- Recommendations for Strengthening EU Security and Autonomy: The resolution calls for a range of measures to strengthen the EU’s security and autonomy, including:
- Developing responses to security and defense concerns.
- Strengthening the resilience of the EU’s closest partners.
- Implementing legislative initiatives to address risks from foreign influence.
- Enhancing the EU’s ability to produce critical materials like semiconductors.
- Proposing new frameworks to mitigate security risks from suppliers of undersea cable systems.
- Call for Action: The resolution urges the EU to take swift and decisive action to address these concerns, including implementing the EU’s expanded regulatory framework to exclude entities contributing to military-civil fusion strategies and finding alternatives for Chinese-financed projects in the EU.
In summary, the European Parliament resolution calls for heightened awareness and action regarding China’s influence on critical infrastructure in the EU, emphasizing the need for diversification, regulatory oversight, and legislative measures to protect the EU’s security, defense, and economic interests.
In regards to 5G, the text states:
[The report] Notes that Chinese companies are already leaders in key technologies used in sectors such as 5G wireless infrastructure, drones, batteries, hypersonic missiles, solar and wind energy, as well as cryptocurrency; expresses its concerns over the uses of these technologies and the dependencies they create; notes, in this regard, that 100 % of the 5G RAN in Cyprus is composed of Chinese equipment, and 59 % in the case of Germany; stresses that this runs counter to the EU’s ‘5G security toolbox’ guidelines to mitigate security risks in networks and calls on the Council and the Commission to exclude the use of equipment and software from manufacturers based in the PRC in core network functions; recalls that Huawei has been participating in 11 projects under Horizon Europe until June 2023, thus receiving EUR 3,89 million of funding in total; therefore, urges the EU and European institutions to carry out a systematic screening of Chinese companies benefiting directly or indirectly from European programmes of strategic importance for the EU and, where necessary, terminate their participation; furthermore, calls on the Commission to propose additional security standards for Chinese suppliers of 5G and the next generation 6G network.
More information here https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=en&reference=2023/2072(INI) and the full text of the resolution is available here: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2024-0028_EN.html
For over 30 years, Marin Ivezic has been protecting critical infrastructure and financial services against cyber, financial crime and regulatory risks posed by complex and emerging technologies.
He held multiple interim CISO and technology leadership roles in Global 2000 companies.