The timing of the appeal seems to be partly driven by a sudden shift to protectionism in the United States and be an attempt to push back against global competition that has severely eroded European manufacturing over several decades.

The semiconductor industry in Europe has suffered more than most from this competition and an inability or unwillingness to find the enormous capital sums required to stay in the game.

The European Semiconductor Industry Association is one of the co-signatories on the declaration, and in a statement said that it was time to “raise the alarm” about global challenges that Europe faces. The statement specifically mentioned efforts to emphasize manufacturing being made in China, India and the United States. 

Without referencing sources ESIA said that between 2000 and 2014 manufacturing’s share of total European Union economic output fell from 18.8 percent of GDP to 15.3 percent of GDP and that from 2008 to 2014 about 3.5 million manufacturing jobs had been lost. Despite these losses manufacturing industry still directly employs over 34 million people across

all member states, and indirectly accounts for millions of additional jobs in related sectors, the ESIA said.

The statement said that countries around the world were supporting manufacturing and creating jobs to serve a global market. ESIA referenced the “Make in India” strategy, the “Made in China 2025” strategy and the recent US shift towards “America First.”

“What it [European manufacturing industry] now needs is the swift and determined support of the European institutions and the member states to create more jobs and growth in Europe,” ESIA said in its statement.

Next: Call to action

The formal call to action said: “Therefore we, the European manufacturing industry, call on the European Commission to:

· reaffirm its commitment to reaching the target of 20 percent of GDP from industry, with an ambitious and realistic timeline;

· adopt an action plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors are facing, in the framework of a communication that would include concrete steps and milestones; and

· commit to implement this action plan in a timely manner and regularly report on progress.”

It was pointed out that the European Parliament and European Council have both stated their support for a strong European strategy to strengthen and modernize the EU’s industrial base (European Parliament on Oct. 5, 2016 and European Council on Dec. 15, 2016).

The signatories said they were prepared to increase cooperation with the European Commission and the European Parliament to define and implement such a strategy that would protect European manufacturers and jobs in Europe.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Europe to rethink 10/100/20 chip project

Infineon Rejects Europe’s Chip Manufacturing Plan

Interview: Sir Peter Bonfield on how Europe can compete

Europe’s 300mm IC manufacturing falls below 1% of world output

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