Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff welcomed the European agreement on a billion-euro program for the expansion of the chip industry.

“This is an important step for Europe,” said the CDU politician to the German Press Agency. The agreement is a “clear signal of competitiveness” compared to other regions such as Asia and North America. Europe must have strategic technologies in order to be able to act on an equal footing.

Saxony-Anhalt’s Economics Minister Sven Schulze was also pleased: “This is an important milestone, also with a view to the Intel settlement in Magdeburg.” Intel plans to manufacture chips of the latest generation in Magdeburg from 2027. Schulze recently visited CEO Pat Gelsinger at the company’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California. Among other things, they talked about the planned settlement and the new EU program. “Now we are ready to take the next steps together on the project in Magdeburg,” said Schulze.

Positive reactions also came from Saxony. Economics Minister Martin Dulig described the agreement on the new program as “very good and extremely important for Saxony”.

On Tuesday evening it was announced that the EU wants to mobilize 43 billion euros for the expansion of the microchip industry in the community. The investments should come from the EU budget and the private sector, among others, as announced by the Swedish Council Presidency. The European Parliament and EU states still have to formally approve the agreement. But that is considered a formality.

Europe is late

The so-called chip law is primarily intended to reduce dependency on Asian countries. Semiconductors are used in products such as cars, household appliances, cell phones and many other goods. Chips have been in short supply for a long time and are urgently needed in numerous industries. In Germany, for example, there were bottlenecks in the automotive industry. The aim is also for the EU share on the world market for chips to grow from almost 10 to 20 percent by 2030. EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton emphasized that the new capacities should not only cover the EU’s own needs, but should also be exported to the rest of the world.

The President of the Bitkom industry association, Achim Berg, said the law was overdue and had to take effect as soon as possible. “The USA already presented their Chips and Science Act in the summer of 2022 and freed up funding of 52.7 billion US dollars.” Europe is comparatively late. In Germany alone, nine out of ten industrial companies depend on semiconductors for production, and they are indispensable for 80 percent.

Around 1000 new jobs

In Germany, Saxony-Anhalt in particular could benefit from the funding provided by the chip law. In March 2022, the US chip manufacturer Intel announced that the latest generation of chips would be produced in Magdeburg from 2027. In addition, the chip company Infineon wants to start building a new plant in Dresden this fall. Around 1000 jobs are to be created. Haseloff said that with the agreement there are now clearly structured framework conditions for the promotion of investments in the semiconductor industry.

The Saxon industry network Silicon Saxony also welcomed the agreement. “The EU Chips Act creates investment and planning security for semiconductor companies and their suppliers,” said Managing Director Frank Boesenberg. Above all, the European supplier industry in the areas of chip design, chemicals, wafer and mask production as well as automation will be strengthened. In addition, Europe is proving its ability to act.