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.