Paul van Gerven
31 January 2022

Financial incentives provided by the European Union to build leading-edge chip manufacturing sites will come with strings attached, European Commissioner Thierry Breton told reporters on Friday. The facilities must be first-of-a-kind in Europe, ensure the security of supply and commit to future investments in leading-edge technology. Breton hinted that the EU may adopt legislation inspired by the Defense Production Act, which allows the US government to secure the supply of domestically produced goods.

Thierry Breton
European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. Credit: EC – Audiovisual Service

The EU will publish its Chips Act proposal on 8 February. Targeting a 20 percent ‘market share’ in global chip supply, the goal is to reduce Europe’s dependency on the US and Asia for semiconductors. Breton said the EU is prepared to invest an amount that’s “commensurate” with the US’s federal incentives for the semicon industry. The Chips for America Act calls for an investment of 52 billion dollars.

ASML is involved in the preparation of the Chips Act. The European Commission has requested the equipment maker to sketch out a long-term vision for the European semiconductor sector, NRC Handelsblad revealed last year (link in Dutch).