European Union lawmakers have laid out ambitious plans to significantly ramp up production of semiconductors in the bloc and become a global leader in the industry.
To do that, it will need some of the key players from Asia and the U.S. to invest heavily in the continent, given the EU’s lack of technology in critical areas like manufacturing, analysts said.
On Tuesday, the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, launched the European Chips Act — a multi-billion euro attempt to secure its supply chains, avert shortages of semiconductors in the future, and promote investment into the industry. It still requires approval from EU lawmakers to pass.
Chips are critical for products from refrigerators to cars and smartphones, but a global crunch has impacted industries across the board causing production standstills and shortages of products.
Semiconductors have become a national security issue for the U.S., and has even become a point of geopolitical tension between the U.S. and China. That clash over semiconductors has led to sanctions on China’s biggest chipmaker SMIC and the world’s second-largest economy doubling down on efforts to boost self-sufficiency.
The EU is now trying to mitigate some of those risks with its latest proposal.
“Faced with growing geopolitical tensions, fast growth in demand, and the possibility of further disruptions in the supply chain, Europe must use its strengths and put in place effective mechanisms to establish greater leadership positions and ensure security of supply within the global industrial chain,” the European Commission said.
The EU Chips Act looks to plough 43 billion euros ($49 billion) of investment into the semiconductor industry and help the bloc to become an “industrial leader” in the future.
Specifically, the EU wants to boost its market share of chip production to 20% by 2030, from 9% currently, and produce the “most sophisticated and energy-efficient semiconductors in Europe.”