A fifth of the most modern semiconductors are to be manufactured in the EU

Chip, artificial intelligence, quantum computers and more: the EU Commission is setting ambitious goals. It remains to be seen how they are to be achieved.

Semiconductors are also essential in the automotive industry.

Dhe importance of the corona pandemic for digitization is no longer missing in any speech on the subject today. Indeed, the pandemic has exposed the European Union’s dependence on key technologies that are in the hands of American or Chinese companies.

But it is not only the corona pandemic that reveals the EU’s weaknesses. Since December, production in the automotive industry has been suffering from the shortage of semiconductors. The European Commission, on the other hand, proclaimed “digital sovereignty” for the EU as a goal last autumn.

In a “Digital Compass for 2030”, it is now at least a little more concrete what that is supposed to mean. It calls out eight goals that the EU should achieve by the end of the decade. The FAZ has received the 20-page paper.

Fast internet for everyone

Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton want to officially present it on Tuesday afternoon. The EU Commission is also targeting semiconductors. An adequate supply of semiconductors is a prerequisite for digital change. It stands at the beginning of strategically important supply chains for “Connected Driving, Industry 4.0, Smartphones, Artificial Intelligence and Supercomputers”, says the paper.

At the same time, there are large gaps in the production of the most modern chips in Europe. The aim is therefore to manufacture at least a fifth of the most modern semiconductors in the world in the EU by 2030. The share is currently 8 percent.

In addition, all European households should be provided with very fast internet by 2030. The new 5G mobile communications standard should be available everywhere in populated areas. 20 million ICT professionals are expected to work in the EU. Currently there are 7.8 million.

Quantum computers and AI

The Commission also addresses the connection between digitization and climate protection. By 2030, 10,000 nodes of the decentralized data networks targeted by the Commission are to be climate-neutral.

Following the already known goal of having the first quantum computer in 2025, the EU is to become the leading force by 2030. 75 percent of companies are said to use artificial intelligence and cloud computing. After all, citizens should be able to access all public offers and all medical documents online.

In the paper, the EU Commission actually says nothing about how the EU intends to achieve these “lunar goals”, as it is already called in Brussels. With regard to semiconductors, for example, she only points out that she has already made suggestions for better networking of research and promotes cooperation between European companies.

Rather, the “digital compass” should now be followed by a digital program in which specific EU steps are laid down. Above all, the Commission wants to hold the Member States accountable. In a new report “On the State of the Digital Decade” every year, it wants to analyze where the member states are lagging behind the targets and make specific recommendations as part of the “European Semester” on how they should change that. So far, however, the states have mostly ignored these recommendations.