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EU funding for semiconductor expansion faces uncertainty after German court ruling

EditorPollock Mondal
Published 11/24/2023, 05:35 AM
Updated 11/24/2023, 05:35 AM
© Reuters.

The European Union's ambitious plans to bolster its semiconductor manufacturing capabilities have hit a snag following a recent ruling by Germany's Federal Constitutional Court. The court's decision has thrown into question the availability of €60 billion in funds, which are crucial for supporting projects like the construction of semiconductor fabs by industry giants Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and TSMC.

The court ruled against the transfer of unused COVID-19 relief funds to the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF), a move that would have underpinned economically sustainable projects in Germany. This verdict has led to immediate consequences, with the ruling coalition of SPD-Greens-FDP suspending budget proceedings. The delay in Bundestag deliberations now poses a significant challenge as it may necessitate changes in investment strategies for both domestic and international corporations due to potential subsidy losses.

German officials are now under intense pressure to devise an urgent strategy within seven days to address the €60 billion budget discrepancy. This financial gap directly impacts promised subsidies amounting to €15 billion for the semiconductor fabs planned by Intel and TSMC. Failure to resolve this issue could result in these tech giants reconsidering their investment plans in Germany, potentially leading to their withdrawal from the projects and sparking legal disputes over unmet commitments by Berlin during a time of financial turmoil.

The European Chips Act, which facilitates EU and German funding for such semiconductor projects, now faces an uncertain future as stakeholders await further developments. The outcome of this situation is being closely monitored by the industry, as it could have far-reaching implications for Europe's competitive position in the global semiconductor market.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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