EESC Opinion on the Official Journal of the EU, OJ C 365, 23.9.2022, p. 34.
- welcomes the plan to make European industry more resilient and to strengthen the domestic semiconductor industry.
- underlines that chip segments required for existing European industries should be tackled with additional and specific measures to make these segments more crisis-resilient. This will not only strengthen and support modernisation of the existing semiconductor manufacturing industry in Europe, but, through improved security of supply, also help European manufacturing industries that rely on chips.
- stresses that the Commission, Member States and industry should therefore jointly discuss how to diversify sources of supply and, in particular, how to improve the recycling of critical raw materials as part of an industrialised circular economy in microelectronics.
- points out that the EU's chips strategy should not be limited to processors, but should deal with all types of integrated circuits, including passive components and packaging materials, as well as the manufacture of machines. The "from the lab to the fab" principle put forward by the Commission does not go far enough, as the value chain does not end with manufacturing.
- welcomes the fact that the Chips Act includes a focus on skills and qualifications. Targeted public investment in education and training, and essentially in skilling and reskilling, is particularly crucial for the green and digital transitions to succeed. However, the focus is very much on highly skilled workers. This is undoubtedly a decisive factor if the technological leap to a "< 10 nm semiconductor" segment is to succeed. Nevertheless, the approach adopted should not overlook the fact that, for the industry's ecosystem to be more firmly anchored in Europe, it will also – and especially – be necessary to facilitate access for workers who are not deemed to be highly skilled.
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