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Huawei’s European legal challenge gathers momentum

It has emerged that Chinese telecoms vendor Huawei is challenging the EU legality draft security laws in Poland and Romania.

One of the many fun things about being a member of the EU is that your own national laws can be overruled by Brussels. This dynamic is not lost on Huawei’s lawyers, who think 5G security laws currently being proposed in Poland and Romania contravene EU law. So they recently wrote to European Commission EVP Vestager to bring this to her attention and ask what she was going to do about it.

We know all this thanks to a freedom of information request submitted by Politico. They eventually got around to responding to the request and delivered the Huawei letter, dated 11 September, brief notes from a meeting between Vestager and Huawei later that month, and the European Commission’s formal response to the Huawei letter, apparently sent on 1 October.

The Huawei letter covered some of the territory we reported on regarding its possible legal challenge in Estonia, namely that it’s against EU law to discriminate on the basis of nationality. It also introduced a new angle, however, which was to accuse the two countries of allowing the US to dictate their law-making process.

Specifically Huawei identified memos (MoU) signed between the two countries and the US on this matter and the first objection raised in the letter accused them of: “Breach of the obligation in TFEU Article 4 for sincere cooperation since by implementing in their national legislation the substance of the MoU, Romania and Poland are favouring US national security priorities over EU policies.”

While the EU reply was fairly short and dismissive, the Huawei letter is likely to have caused consternation in Brussels. Huawei is effectively accusing two EU members of allowing the US, rather than the EU, to dictate their policy on this matter. Since there’s nothing that upsets Eurocrats more than being reminded they’re not the centre of the universe, this seems like a clever strategy. Whether it does anything more than just stir things up briefly remains to be seen.

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29 comments

  1. Avatar B 04/11/2020 @ 2:36 am

    Telecom professionals have chosen, or at least have not dismissed Huawei for 5G development. Politicians who know nothing about telecommunications are now trying to overrule their recommendations. What is the benefit for the general public?
    Who’s going to pay the price of more expensive and not so good 5G? Consumers in the EU. The price will be at least 62 billion euros, the development will lag behind the one in China and South Eastern Asia, but the US will be satisfied.

    • Avatar Reality Check 04/11/2020 @ 7:00 pm

      No one in their right mind, politician or not wants to work with communist regime that constantly threatens Worlds National Secutity and Peace! There are so many more and BETTER ptoviders than CCP spy machine by thr name of huawei!

  2. Avatar Clifford Setyono 04/11/2020 @ 3:43 am

    I don’t think EU countries will care about being left behind. Just look at their digital payment development. There’s no single European stsndard. Whereas China is years ahead in digital payment.

    • Avatar Me 04/11/2020 @ 8:31 pm

      Haven’t noticed any negative consequences in my daily routine: buy coffee with card in the morning – 10 seconds, buy ticket over the phone on my way to the station – 10 seconds. Never even bothered noticing how “advanced” China is. 🙂

  3. Avatar Jo 04/11/2020 @ 1:34 pm

    That’s part of allied country’s dependency weaknesses

  4. Avatar Henry 04/11/2020 @ 1:38 pm

    Some countries are afraid of sanctions by the United States, and thus follow the footsteps of the US, without any proof of Huawei equipments doing eavesdropping.

    • Avatar Andy 04/11/2020 @ 6:48 pm

      There is proof Henry. Get your hands on their transmission equipment and tear down the paths. You’ll notice back doors present, one of which has been used to copy user data outside a certain operator’s network. It is not normal for a supplier to maintain full control rights on equipment they have sold to an operator. Do your homework and remember “where there’s smoke …”

      • Avatar Alibaba 05/11/2020 @ 8:32 am

        Snowden

  5. Avatar Hong Tan 04/11/2020 @ 3:01 pm

    Remember what happened to the Roman empire,the British Empire etc….,others will follow the same route

  6. Avatar Michael Carroll 04/11/2020 @ 4:33 pm

    The main U.S. concern with Huawei’s 5G is that US intelligence agencies cannot monitor their equipment without the knowledge of the Chinese government. This is about U.S. ability to spy and not the other way around . just ask Eric Snowden.

  7. Avatar jason 04/11/2020 @ 6:42 pm

    Its not just about me eavesdropping.
    DO you see how China behaves, they kidnap for ransom citizens they threaten and bully all smaller countries. We can not allow the communist to become the top financial country or we risk are freedom we enjoy. Dont forget not long ago half the world was imprisoned in communist countries

    • Avatar David 05/11/2020 @ 11:19 am

      I am a citizen of small little country not that far away from China Nuclear Missile firing range !!, and i don’t feel threathen by China

  8. Avatar Reality Check 04/11/2020 @ 7:02 pm

    No one is scared of china crap, just no one wants to work with commie spying, propaganda and threats!

  9. Avatar D 04/11/2020 @ 7:10 pm

    Huawei has very clear path to dismiss all claims about security breaches and suspicious business practices. They can list themselves on stock exchange and open the books thus ensuring transparency and detaching from Chinese communist party. Also Chinese communist party can relief Chinese companies simply by changing the law and removing the obligations form Chinese companies to cooperate with the authorities by handing over all the requested data. Fact that neither Huawei neither Chinese communist part does not consider any step in this direction is a clear aign that there is something behind. After all we all know Tienanmen, Hong Kong, Uyghus … cases. Let’s not pretend blind about Chinese agenda …

  10. Avatar G 04/11/2020 @ 7:29 pm

    Question is why comments that do not comply with Chinese agenda are instantly removed. I guess paycheck covers also maintaining compliant comments 🙂

  11. Avatar Kim Smith 04/11/2020 @ 7:52 pm

    The E.U. should demonstrate its independence and maturity by making decisions in its own interests, instead of taking orders from , and doing Washington ‘s bidding !!

  12. Avatar Steve 04/11/2020 @ 8:02 pm

    Every European countries should think hard
    what is best for their own country , not just
    take orders from Washington .

  13. Avatar Yul 04/11/2020 @ 9:15 pm

    Brussels should create EU wide laws to ban Huawei
    When china decides to invade Taiwan the EU won’t be able to take a stance if they depend too much on Huawei

  14. Avatar SANI Sulaiman 04/11/2020 @ 11:49 pm

    China is now military powerful. Too risky for Europe to give business to China. More wealth more military build up. Pertaining to legal matter. China also don’t follow international law. China built up military base in South China Sea which not belong to them.

    • Avatar Observer 05/11/2020 @ 10:12 am

      South China Sea doesn’t brlong to the US neither.

      • Avatar happiman 08/11/2020 @ 12:46 am

        Exactly. It doesn’t belong any of them. US does not claim that it belong to them However, evil communist part is bullying nearby countries.

  15. Avatar Francis Light 05/11/2020 @ 1:34 am

    EU is a weak lamb compared to all mighty USA, the command chain for most EU smaller countries is indeed Washington. TRUMP’ s MAGA require these followers to sacrify. EU is nobody after Great Britain Brexit!

  16. Avatar Tim 05/11/2020 @ 1:56 am

    The security of its people could be paid at the cost of cheaper faster internet from Huawei. I think Ericksson and Nokia can provide similar quality 5G with time and resources. Both Nokia and Ericksson have made huge gains in countries like Canada, Australia, UK etc

  17. Avatar Francis 05/11/2020 @ 2:10 am

    The reason why Huawei is loathed by the US is that it produces equipment which the US companies cannot and the US then suffers from inferiority complex. In the US everyone is still in self denial, than a Chinese person cannot ever be better than an American, that Americans are the intellectuals of this world and anyone else does not have brains. It’s a proud feeling that Americans will suffer with for a long time, by the time they wake to reality, most countries will have reap frogged over them with China doing it in the next few years. Instead of innovating and competing, fools like Trump think that banning Huawei will take America to greatness; it’s is all futile.

    • Avatar mick 07/11/2020 @ 12:14 am

      ccp prop continues …

    • Avatar happiman 08/11/2020 @ 12:47 am

      One thing China being much better than US is corruption.

  18. Avatar Veddah 05/11/2020 @ 6:11 am

    Governments, including China’s own,hate Huawei as it is not owned by billionaires. Apple, Samsung etc are ok because billionaires own them . Huawei is worker owned

  19. Avatar Cletus the clown 05/11/2020 @ 11:38 am

    The chief of the FSB (German Security Bureau) finally came out with a clear statement – its impossible to know whats in Huawei kit, there could be hardware backdoors that you’d never find, how do we know – the NSA pressured Intel to do exactly the same.

  20. Avatar vishy harihara 05/11/2020 @ 3:05 pm

    we should buy only producs made in the countries other than PRC
    It is abou time E U shouls pass the law

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