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Fostering Tech Sovereignty with a Level Playing Field on State Aid and Foreign Subsidies

Andreas Haak, Barbara Thiemann

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/estal/2022/1/4

Keywords: twin transition, ICPEI, supply chain, sovereignty, EU--nbsp--Chips Act, foreign subsidies

In her 2021 State of the European Union Address, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed ‘the importance of investing in our European tech sovereignty’ and continued by appealing that ‘[w]e have to double down to shape our digital transformation according to our own rules’. Availability of semiconductors (also referred to as microchips or simply as chips) is essential for industry and national security alike. Without microchips there is no tech sovereignty. Given the currently fragile state of global supply chains, expanding fabrication capacity within the EU is high on the political agenda. At the same time, ensuring fair competition is of paramount importance. While tech sovereignty must be matched by sufficient State funding, it still needs to be awarded in compliance with EU State aid rules. These rules must not work as an impediment to tech sovereignty. Furthermore, the rules of the game must be the same for everyone. This regulatory objective is most evident in the draft Distortive Foreign Subsidies Regulation.
Keywords: twin transition; ICPEI; supply chain; sovereignty; EU Chips Act; foreign subsidies

Andreas Haak is Managing Partner of Dentons’ Düsseldorf office, Co‑head of the Dentons’ Public Sector practice group in Germany and specialist lawyer for public procurement law. Dr Barbara Thiemann, LLM, is a Counsel in Dentons’ Düsseldorf office and member of the German Public Sector practice group. For correspondence: <mailto:andreas.haak@dentons.com> and <mailto:barbara.thiemann@dentons.com>.


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