The European Parliament has signed off a legislative deal intended to boost the EU’s semiconductor industry, including by allocating €3.3 billion for research and innovation.
The deal, reached in April by MEPs and the Council of the EU member states, is designed to raise the bloc’s competitiveness in semiconductors after shortages in recent years underscored its dependence on Asian countries for chip manufacture and the United States for design.
Rapporteur Dan Nica (S&D, RO) said, “With the European Chips Act, we aim to strengthen the EU’s position in the global semiconductor landscape and to address the vulnerabilities in supply chains exposed by the pandemic. We want to have more influence and to be leaders, so we have secured €3.3 billion for research and innovation. We aim to boost technological capacity, and are implementing measures to combat potential shortages. Europe is prepared to face the future challenges in the semiconductor industry, prioritising strategic autonomy, security, and a favourable business environment.”
A crisis response mechanism will be set up, through which the Commission will assess the risks to the EU’s supply of semiconductors. Early warning indicators in member states will be used to trigger an EU-wide shortage alert.
This mechanism will allow the Commission to implement emergency measures such as prioritising the supply of products particularly affected by a shortage, or carrying out common purchasing for member states. MEPs further improved the scheme by introducing a mapping tool that will help identify possible supply bottlenecks. These measures will be a last resort in the event of a crisis in the semiconductors sector.
Parliament also backed provisions to strengthen international cooperation with strategic partners and on intellectual property rights, to guarantee competitive advantages and protection for the EU sector.
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