Despite the cabinet’s heated attempts, the Netherlands is receiving little European support for limiting the export of chip technology to China. Earlier this week, the cabinet announced that it wanted to restrict the export of certain machines from chip machine maker ASML. The Hague is the European leader in this, but it also takes a considerable risk of being left alone against China.
Although the issue is on the agenda of other European countries, other member states don’t seem to be really moving yet, says Europe correspondent Stefan de Vries. This is partly because many countries lack the technological knowledge that the Netherlands does have. Foreign Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher emphasized on Wednesday that this is still a ‘national issue’. This while Europe wants to focus on more autonomy in the coming years.
ASML and other Dutch chip companies are important to the European economy, but according to De Vries, Europe is not yet aware of this. Few other European capitals are aware of the economic importance of these players. There is certainly still work to be done.’
Europe wants to increase its own chip production. From 2030, a fifth of the chips should come from Europe, in order to be less dependent on China and Taiwan. But according to De Vries, national competition is fierce, because the United States also sees an opportunity to become a larger player in this market.
According to Stefan, a large part of the lack of European cohesion on this dossier is also due to the fact that many EU countries do not yet see the necessity of the problem. The chance that the Netherlands will be able to convince the other member states of the urgency of this issue is therefore not great. They simply don’t have this problem yet. ‘We are ahead of the Netherlands in this area. Now the rest of Europe must also follow suit.’