We need transatlantic cooperation to build 5G networks

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Dear Chairman Meeks and Ranking Member McCaul, 

As a cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament, we wish to thank you for your continued leadership and support for the people of Central and Eastern Europe in the face of rising Chinese and Russian malign influence. We recognize that strengthening the transatlantic alliance is key to protect democratic institutions globally.   

We welcome the bipartisan Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act led by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)  as a vital piece of U.S. legislation that will enhance the integrity of the Transatlantic  Alliance and advance the democratic standards on which it was founded by supporting the development of safe, secure, and transparent standards of telecommunications networks in Central and Eastern Europe.

The integration of China’s 5G technology into the Transatlantic telecommunications networks exposes the NATO alliance and its partners to unacceptable risks and presents a challenge to the future of democratic governance by allowing China to establish itself as a central node in global connectivity and spread technologies and technological standards that prop up its unbalanced economy at home and erode democratic norms abroad. It is critical that the United States and the European Union work together to promote 5G technologies that embrace democratic values and keep authoritarian influence at bay.

We fully support how the Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act will enhance and strengthen digital connectivity as a core aspect of the Three Seas Initiative framework.  This digital dimension of the Three Seas is critical to consolidating the integration of Central and Eastern Europe within a undivided Europe, reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank and reducing its exposure to malign actors. We are also thankful for Congressman Meeks’ support as an original cosponsor of this legislation in the previous Congress. 

We see the Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act as vital to collaborating with the United States to supply the region with more options for technological development, and to reduce predatory opportunities for authoritarian actors to capitalize on the deficit of financial support in vulnerable regions. 

We note that this legislation builds on the strong momentum of the unanimous passage of House Resolution 672 that endorsed Three Seas initiative and the pledge of up to one billion dollars in financing from the U.S. Development Finance Corporation to support the region’s energy security. These key national security investments from the United States stand among the most important and effective transatlantic efforts to counter significant inflows of Russian and Chinese financing that spreads strategic corruption and corrodes democracy. 

We are confident that the Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act will contribute greatly to our combined efforts to counter the rise of global malign actors, such as China and Russia, and build resilience in Central and Eastern Europe. For these reasons, we respectfully urge its favorable consideration in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and on the floor of the House of Representatives, and look forward to cooperation with the United States through the organizations and processes detailed in this act to enhance the region’s interoperability and economic integration founded on democratic principles. 

Signed,

Miriam Lexmann MEP (European People’s Party, Slovakia)

Rasa Juknevičienė MEP (European People’s Party, Lithuania)

Riho Terras MEP (European People’s Party, Estonia)

Dragoș Tudorache MEP (Renew Europe, Romania)

Anna Fotyga MEP (European Conservatives & Reformists, Poland)

Cristian Silviu Bușoi MEP (European People’s Party, Romania)

Ivan Štefanec MEP (European People’s Party, Slovakia)

Radan Kanev MEP (European People’s Party, Bulgaria)

Aušra Maldeikienė MEP (European People’s Party, Lithuania)

Martin Hojsík MEP (Renew Europe, Slovakia)

Nicolae Ștefănuță MEP (Renew Europe, Romania)

Liudas Mažylis MEP (European People’s Party, Lithuania)

Evžen Tošenovský MEP (European Conservatives & Reformists, Czechia)

Milan Zver MEP (European People’s Party, Slovenia)

Photo: androidportal.zoznam.sk

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