5G or not to be: While the advent of 5G technology promises to change our reality drastically, the EU lags behind great powers such as China and the US. Considering the pervasive conspiracy theories and the Member States’ differing 5G deployment plans, how should the EU develop a 5G strategy that addresses public concerns while keeping up with the rest of the world in technological developments?

Submitted by: Kim Grolman (NL), Joris van der Heide (NL), Bebel Piersma (NL), ​​Órla Stockmann (NL), Amy Tarling (NL), Yutaro Yamamoto (NL), Lars van der Ent (Chairperson, NL)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Alarmed by the fact that China and the United States have significantly more advanced 5G networks compared to the EU, which leads to the EU losing its competitive advantage on the digital market,
  2. Concerned that the patents implemented by non-EU providers on 5G infrastructure can increase the cost of research and development of a European 5G system due to royalty fees,
  3. Noting that the inability of EU providers to compete with non-EU providers implementing 5G networks causes the EU to be dependent on such non-EU providers, which may raise privacy violations,
  4. Further concerned that a European 5G network hosted by non-EU providers can be a weakness in diplomatic negotiations,
  5. Anxious about security threats, such as increased cyber attacks, as a result of the Internet of Things applications of 5G networks and the widespread transmission nodes,
  6. Considering that the EU lacks an effective Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN)1 O-RAN connects base stations that transmit and receive radio communication. It does so through the creation of standards to streamline the interoperability between various base stations. infrastructure to accommodate the implementation of 5G networks,
  7. Regretting that no action has been taken towards the harmonisation of 5G implementation strategies among Member States
  8. Aware of public uncertainties regarding the environmental impacts of the widespread implementation of 5G hardware,
  9. Recognising the existence of misunderstandings about the health effects of 5G and the consequences thereof, 
  10. Acknowledging the lack of skilled engineers to design and implement 5G networks domestically,
  11. Conscious of the anti-5G movement which:
    1. distributes misleading information,
    2. commits arson attacks on transmission nodes,
    3. spreads conspiracy theories about an untruthful causal link between 5G and COVID-19;
  1. Invites EU 5G-providers to collaborate through the 5G-Public-Private-Partnership (5G-PPP) by relying on the funds provided by the Horizon 2020 Programme2 The 5G Public-Private-Partnership (5G-PPP) is a collaboration between the European Commission and European Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) industry. The European Commission has allocated 700 million EUR for this collaboration through the Horizon 2020 Programme. on the condition of adherence to relevant EU privacy guidelines;
  2. Calls upon Member States to more strictly enforce the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for 5G providers active within the EU;
  3. Urges Member States to ensure satisfactory supervision of illicit activities using 5G networks;
  4. Proposes Member States restrict the network access of EU and non-EU 5G providers after conviction of illicit activities;
  5. Reminds Member States to more actively implement the guidelines set in the Connectivity Toolbox with regards to security threats;
  6. Encourages Member States to build more O-RAN base stations to support the larger data transfers of a 5G system through subsidies;
  7. Suggests Member States assist each other in reaching the objectives set in the Connectivity Toolbox through an information exchange of the experiences with the rollout of 5G infrastructure;
  8. Asks the Council of the European Union to include green initiatives to compensate for the pollution caused by the deployment of 5G in the Fit for 55 plan3Fit for 55 is a collection of EU proposals and legislation aimed to ensure the EU meets its climate targets.;
  9. Recommends Member States launch an educational campaign informing the general public about the positive and negative environmental and health-related effects of exposure to electromagnetism within the 5G frequency range;
  10. Instructs European secondary education institutions to provide information to potential engineering students to pursue a degree in the fields of ICT or electrical engineering;
  11. Calls upon the European Commission to impose stricter guidelines for social media platforms with regards to misinformation relating to 5G.