EU reaches €43bn deal to ramp up bloc’s semiconductor industry

BRUSSELS (AFP): European Union negotiators have reached a deal on how to boost the supply of semiconductors in Europe in an effort to reduce the bloc’s dependence on suppliers in Asia.

As governments around the world invest billions in chips, the European Parliament and EU members agreed to a €43 billion plan to make Europe a main player in semiconductor production.

The policy will double the EU’s global market share to 20 percent in 2030 – with Europe needing to quadruple its production to meet this target.

“The Chips Act will boost the European ecosystem for semiconductors and play a vital part in strengthening the EU’s competitiveness at the global level,” the bloc’s Swedish presidency said on Tuesday.

In a tweet, German MEP Henrike Hahn said the deal included 3.3 billion euros allocated to “support large-scale technological capacity building and innovation across the EU in the semiconductor sector”.

Supply shocks

The announcement comes after the coronavirus pandemic triggered supply chain disruptions that led to significant shortages.

The legislation also forms part of the EU’s bid to produce more in Europe to reduce its vulnerability to geopolitical shocks such as the Ukraine war – which has forced members to look for alternative energy sources.

“This will allow us to rebalance and secure our supply chains, reducing our collective dependence on Asia,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s industry commissioner, said in a statement.

The agreement will become law once it is approved by the European Parliament and EU member countries.