On 1st December 2022, the Council has adopted its position (‘general approach‘) on the proposed regulation establishing a framework of measures to strengthen Europe’s semiconductor ecosystem, better known as the ‘Chips Act’.
In its position, the Council clarifies the financial architecture. Regarding the Chips for Europe Initiative from Pillar 1 and the €3.3 billion total amount proposed by the Commission, the Council clarifies that the €1.65 billion included from Horizon Europe should be committed to research and innovation, and the funding from the Digital Europe programme should finance capacity-building activities. To respect the existing interinstitutional agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework, the Council’s mandate does not include reallocation of decommitted funds from Horizon Europe, as was proposed by the Commission. As this means a reduction of €400 million in the overall funding coming from the Digital Europe programme, the Council’s position adopted today is accompanied by a statement asking the Commission, together with the member states and the European Parliament, to look for alternative solutions to maintain the overall budget of €3.3 billion.
Other proposed changes to the Commission proposal include clarifications related to:
- the definition of a ‘first-of-a-kind’ semiconductor manufacturing facility
- the formulation of the general and operational objectives and the content of the Chips for Europe Initiative
- the establishment of a European network of competence centres in semiconductors, integration technologies and system design
- the requirements to be met by Integrated Production Facilities and Open EU Foundries, in particular as regards positive spill-over effects on the EU’s semiconductor value chain
- the design of mandatory information requests during a crisis stage
- the scope and implementation of the emergency toolbox
- the enforcement of information and notification obligations and of compliance with priority rated orders through fines and penalties
The general approach agreed today formalises the Council’s negotiating position. It provides the Council presidency with a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament, which will start as soon as the Parliament adopts its position.
Read the full article here
Download the ‘general approach’ from the Council here
Download the Council statement to maintain the overall foreseen budget of EUR 3.3 billion