Brussels Supports Portugal’s Decision To Expel Huawei From 5G Mobile Networks

Image of a 5G tower.

Image of a 5G tower in in Hattstedt in der Nähe von Husum. Credit: Fabian Horst/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

THE European Commission has decided in favour of Portugal’s move to exclude Huawei from the development of the country’s 5G mobile networks.

Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, stated this Friday, September 8, that is that it is up to each individual European Union member state to decide which manufacturers it allows to operate on its territory.

‘From the first day, when we put into practice the so-called 5G toolbox, we obviously did not mention any company, but we mentioned the risk that any country must avoid when selecting or having its companies select suppliers and, of course, the decision was made by them (Portugal)’, he declared.

Thierry Breton spoke to the European press in Brussels

During a meeting with the European press in Brussels, he was asked about the announcement that the Chinese manufacturer Huawei had filed an administrative action against the Security Assessment Committee’s deliberation on 5G equipment, with the aim of safeguarding its legal rights.

The European official responded: ‘I think that, if the Portuguese authorities are complying with the rules, they should take this decision’.

‘It’s not up to me to say whether it applies to one company or another, but it’s up to me to make sure that the 27 countries agree on the risks that cannot be borne during the deployment of 5G networks’, he added.

According to Thierry Breton: ‘The way these networks are developed is not the same’, depending on the suppliers that participate.

He told the Lusa agency: ‘Huawei, as you mentioned, has some parts of equipment that do not have any problems, but others may have a problem, and it is up to the Member States to decide and to fulfil the commitment that everyone has made to respect the toolbox’.

Huawei filed an administrative action in Lisbon

This comes two days after an official Huawei source confirmed to Lusa that it had: ‘Filed an administrative action at the Lisbon Circle Administrative Court against deliberation 1/2023 and related documents relating to 5G equipment, issued by the Security Assessment Committee’.

Last May, the Security Assessment Committee, within the scope of the Superior Cyberspace Security Council, released a deliberation on the ‘high risk’ for the security of 5G networks and services from the use of equipment from suppliers that, among other criteria, were from outside the European Union, NATO or OECD.

It stated that: ‘The legal system of the country in which it is domiciled, or linked, allows the Government to exercise control, interference, or pressure over its activities operating in third countries’.

This deliberation did not mention the names of companies or countries, but what is certain is that the case of Huawei comes to mind, particularly because the Chinese technology was banned from 5G networks in other European countries.

In January 2020, the European Commission advised EU Member States to apply ‘relevant restrictions’ to suppliers considered ‘high risk’ in 5G networks, including exclusion from their markets to avoid ‘critical’ risks.

This was a toolbox released with recommendations for Member States to implement to mitigate possible cyberattacks, espionage actions, or other types of problems related to the development of this new technology. Europe constitutes Huawei’s largest market outside of China.

Assumed as a European priority, the focus on 5G has also raised concerns about cybersecurity, with Huawei being at the centre of controversy for alleged spying on 5G equipment. The technology company has constantly rejected these accusations, reiterating the lack of evidence involved, as reported by

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at