Launch of the European Semiconductor Regions Alliance

On May 29, the first general assembly of the European Semiconductor Regions Alliance (ESRA) was held in Desde (Germany) under the auspices of the Free State of Saxony, one of Europe's most important semiconductor regions. The assembly brought together for the first time 32 regions of the European Union, with the participation of Wales from the United Kingdom.

The Alliance was conceived at the beginning of 2023 with the initial complicity of Saxony and the European Union institutions, which were concerned about strengthening European semiconductor production capacity. The Committee of the Regions and Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, have always been at the heart of the initiative. Thus, in September, the Alliance was already formed with the following regions: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia in Germany; Andalusia, the Basque Country, Valencia and Catalonia in Spain; Flevoland and North Brabant in the Netherlands; Carinthia and Styria in Austria; the Centro region in Portugal; Flanders in Belgium; Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in France; Piedmont in Italy, Tampere and Helsinki in Finland; South Moravia in the Czech Republic; Wales in the United Kingdom; and the Republic of Ireland.

The aim of the alliance is to unite regions across Europe in a joint effort to strengthen the EU's production capacity in the semiconductor industry and improve cooperation.  The Minister President of the Free State of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, explained it as follows: “With ESRA, we are opening up new ways for regions to collaborate, research and innovate to ensure Europe's economic and digital sovereignty. The participation of many regions underlines the interest in further cooperation at EU level in the field of microelectronics. The Alliance will make an important contribution to making Europe competitive in this key industry in the coming years”.

The Alliance aims to identify and help remove obstacles to the strategic development of the industry by improving the legal framework, promoting public and private investment, supporting knowledge sharing and the development of strong and resilient value chains. The Alliance is a regional platform and a partner of the European Commission in the implementation of the European Chip Act. It will act as a platform for the exchange of best practices and promote the interests of its members and the semiconductor industry.

The initiative aims to avoid crises such as the one in 2020, when various factors, from the coronavirus pandemic to the trade war between the United States and China, left the European market without a supply of semiconductors, breaking the production chain of many essential products. On that occasion, the lack of microchips meant that orders for electronic devices, consoles or cars arrived weeks and months late on the market. In any case, it became clear that Europe could not depend on global supply chains, in a political context constantly altered by new situations.

During the assembly, in addition to approving all the documents required for the operation of the Alliance, the good practices of five regions were presented: Bavaria (Germany), Piedmont (Italy), Catalonia (Spain), South Moravia (Czech Republic) and Skane (Sweden).


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