- Chip industry: EU Commission allows more subsidies
- ETS and CBAM: the EU on a promotional tour
- DMA: Negotiators in the European Parliament reach agreement
- Protecting against deforestation: EU Commission proposes new regulation
- IEA calls for increase in global energy efficiency
- EU to make export of waste to poorer countries more difficult
- LNG industry introduces rules on offsetting
- Apple to sell spare parts to consumers
- Profile: Eva Kracht
It’s one of the central legislative projects for the regulation of large online platforms – the Digital Markets Act. According to information from Europe.Table, the negotiators in the European Parliament have now reached an agreement: The last major point of contention, the handling of personalized advertising, was resolved on Wednesday evening, as it is said in negotiating circles. Next Monday, the Internal Market Committee will now vote. You can read more details in the news section of this issue.
That Europe can supply itself with semiconductors is “an illusion”, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said last week. “It is an illusion to believe that Europe should rely on others for chips,” countered industry commissioner Thierry Breton. Vestager, on the one hand, and Breton and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on the other, publicly argued over whether member states should be allowed to subsidize semiconductor factories.
The compromise reached now widens the scope for promoting the industry in EU state aid law, without immediately opening all the floodgates. A corresponding communication of the authority on competition policy is to be adopted today, Till Hoppe has evaluated it in advance. Experts are already warning that subsidies and the construction of new factories alone will not solve the problem of the ongoing chip bottlenecks.
The EU’s planned CO2 border adjustment mechanism has attracted a lot of criticism in recent months. But now the CBAM is having an effect even before it is introduced – this is clearly illustrated by the example of Turkey. In Glasgow, Turkey’s chief negotiator Mehmet Emin Birpinar admitted that the prospect of the CBAM had been a major factor in Turkey’s decision to ratify the Paris climate agreement. Timo Landenberger has written about the country’s plans to achieve its climate targets and how it intends to cooperate with the EU to this end.
Chip industry: EU Commission allows more subsidies
For Angela Merkel, the lesson to be learned from the ongoing chip bottlenecks is clear: EU states should mobilize massive state aid to encourage semiconductor manufacturers to build state-of-the-art factories. “South Korea and Taiwan show that without state subsidies, for example, competitive chip production in the 3- or 2-nanometer range is basically no longer possible,” the outgoing German chancellor told Reuters news agency. “And if we don’t have certain support instruments in addition to the existing EU state aid rules, we can’t advance to the top of the world.”
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sees it the same way. The Brussels authority is now opening the door a bit wider for aid to the chip industry. The Commission will “consider authorizing public support to fill possible funding gaps in the semiconductor ecosystem, in particular for the establishment of hitherto non-existent facilities in Europe”, according to a communication from the authority on competition policy to be adopted this Thursday. However, “strict safeguards” are to apply to this as well, so the aid paid does not unnecessarily distort competition. The paper is available to the Europe.Table team.
Behind the wording lies a dispute between Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on the one hand and Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton and von der Leyen on the other. Vestager is opposed to softening the EU rules on state aid. These already allow high subsidies in the form of Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI), including for the semiconductor industry.