The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) voted this week to approve the legislative proposals for the Chips Act made by the European Commission.
On Feb. 8, 2022, the European Commission presented and published the proposed European Chips Act, which aims to double the EU’s current share of global chip production to 20% in 2030. The European Chips Act is set to mobilize €43 billion of public and private investment.
Since then, the proposals have been moving through the EU’s legislative process.
The European Council amended several provisions of the Commission’s proposal to take into account the requests of delegations during the discussions at working group level, to improve the clarity and feasibility of the proposal and to ensure legal certainty. On Nov. 25, the Council presented its “Regulation establishing a framework of measures for strengthening Europe’s semiconductor ecosystem (Chips Act) – General approach.” Finally, on Dec. 1, 2022, the Council adopted its position, or “general approach,” on the Chips Act.
A new milestone was achieved on Jan. 24, when members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted two draft bills: one on the Chips Act and a second one on the Chips Joint Undertaking.
ITRE held a public hearing on July 14, where MEPs and a panel of experts debated how the Chips Act could put Europe back in the technology race. The draft report was released on Sept. 21. The rapporteur then presented 116 amendments to the EC proposal. The draft report was debated during the ITRE meeting on Oct. 13. ITRE MEPs tabled 688 additional amendments. In total, in ITRE, 804 amendments were tabled to the EC proposal, and MEPs adopted the legislative report this week with 67 votes in favor to one against, with four abstentions.
The amendments proposed by the Parliament focused primarily on next-generation semiconductors and quantum chips. A network of competence centers would be created to address the skills shortage and attract new research, design and production talent. The legislation would also support projects to strengthen the EU’s security of supply by attracting investment and building production capacity.
“We want the EU Chips Act to establish Europe as an important player in the global semiconductors arena,” said Dan Nica, rapporteur on the Chips Act. “Not only does the budget need to be commensurate with the challenges and funded through fresh money, but we want to ensure that the EU is leading in research and innovation, has a business-friendly environment, has a fast permitting process and invests in a skilled workforce for the semiconductor sector. Our goal is to ensure growth in Europe, prepare for future challenges and have in place the right mechanisms for future crises.”