Answer to Written Question: Global shortage of semi-conductors – Europe urgently needs to develop its own industry
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission
The COVID-19 crisis and supply shortage of semiconductors in the automotive industry have highlighted Europe’s strong dependence in some key sectors. With the digital transition, new chip markets are emerging as critically important for key applications, such as automated cars, connectivity and advanced computing. Europe needs to strengthen its capability to develop next generations of semiconductors for these applications, to bolster Europe’s digital sovereignty, competitiveness, and help achieve the digital and green transition.
The Commission has identified ways to address strategic dependencies, through the update of the Industrial Strategy. This entails engaging in open and fair trade worldwide, while reducing critical dependencies. The Commission is working with Member States, research and technology organisations, actors of the semiconductor value chain and end-user companies, including the automotive industry, to reinforce EU level cooperation. On 7 December, 2020, 22 Member States joined forces in an initiative to strengthen the semiconductor value chain, including through an Industrial Alliance to mobilise industrial partners, currently under preparation, and to enable breakthrough innovation through a proposal of a new Important Project of Common European Interest and, where feasible, the Recovery and Resilience Fund. This will contribute to meet the target of doubling the EU’s share of global production of cutting-edge and sustainable semiconductors by 2030.
 Updating the 2020 Industrial Strategy: towards a stronger Single Market for Europe’s recovery. 05 May, 2021: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_21_1884