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Semiconductors, EU plan to double production

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Strengthen the technological independence ofEuropean Union and increase its competitiveness to face the semiconductor crisis.
With these two objectives in mind, the European Commission lifted the veil yesterday, Tuesday 8 February, onEuropean Chips Acta 43 billion euro plan that aims to double the European market share in semiconductor manufacturing, bringing it to 20% by 2030.

“This initiative will change the cards on the table for the global competitiveness of the European single market – he explained the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen -. In the short term, the strategy we present today will strengthen our resilience in the face of future crises, allowing us to avoid supply chain disruptions. In the medium term, it will help make Europe an industrial leader in this strategic sector ».

Basically, the project presented by the European Commission foresees a relaunch of research, new rules to protect supplies from abroad and greater coordination between member countries. The initiative presented by Brussels provides for the possibility of public aid, but only for plants deemed innovative at least in Europe. The EU executive’s proposal foresees that in the short term countries will have to coordinate to better prepare themselves for new supply crises.

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At this point, the floor passes to the European Parliament which will have to discuss the proposals of the EU executive, according to the ordinary legislative procedure. If adopted, the regulation will be directly applicable throughout the European Union.

The semiconductor sector

How important the semiconductor sector has become to the global economy was clearly seen during the pandemic, a time when the global shortage of chips sent several sectors already struggling with the economic effects of Covid-19 into crisis. One above all is the automotive sector, whose production in some Member States dropped by a third in 2021 due to bottlenecks in procurement from Asia.

In 2020, over 1 trillion microprocessors were produced worldwide, or 130 chips per person. However, due to bottlenecks in sourcing from Asia, car-only production in 2020-2021 dropped by a third in some countries.

Currently the market is dominated by Asia (Taiwan in the lead) which controls almost 80% of the market shares. On the other hand, 12% of the shares are in the hands of the United States: while the European Union therefore remains a small slice of the market, equal to 9%, which makes it highly dependent on third-party suppliers.

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In line with the European Union, the United States, last Friday they passed the Chips Bill, a $ 52 billion plan that aims to revitalize the American semiconductor industry.

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