LONDON (AP) – The president of the European Commission on Wednesday unveiled an ambitious plan to improve the block’s ability to make chips amid growing global competition for semiconductors.
Ursula von der Leyen introduced the European Chip Law in support of the “chip ecosystem” so that the continent can fend for itself in the production of this vital technology.
Semiconductors are a kind of brain for all kinds of devices, from cell phones to cars. Its long-standing shortage has highlighted the importance of manufacturers, most of which are based in Asia, to global supply chains. Automakers are among the companies hardest hit by the shortage, which has forced them to cut back or halt production.
“While global demand (for chips) has grown explosively, Europe’s share in the entire value chain, from design to manufacturing capacity, has declined,” Von der Leyen said in a kind of annual report to the European Parliament. based in Strasbourg. “In terms of the latest in chips, we depend on Asia,” added the official.
The European Chips Law will link research, design and testing and coordinate national and EU investments, he said.
“It is about jointly creating a next-generation European chip ecosystem” that will guarantee the supply of semiconductors, he said. It did not clarify whether the plan will have financial support.
The United States has also taken steps to support the sector. Months ago, Congress passed a law to boost national semiconductor production as part of its commercial and technological rivalry with China.
Von der Leyen said chip making is important to Europe’s “technological sovereignty” – the idea that the EU should be more self-sufficient and less dependent on Chinese technology.