France calls to step up EU independence on electronic components

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire adjusts his protective face mask after a video conference with European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton (not seen) as part of a meeting over strengthening the European industrial policy and the European recovery plan, at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, February 15, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called on Monday for a new plan on electronic components to reduce European dependence on Asian suppliers in the domain this year.

Le Maire told reporters such dependence was unacceptable and was making the European Union vulnerable in industries such as car manufacturing that had run short of some components from Asia.

Speaking at a news conference along with EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, Le Maire also raised concerns about plans for takeovers by foreign companies of EU firms in the electronics sector.

“We believe it is essential to reinforce the European industrial strategy with the objectives of retaining Europe’s industrial capacities, developing them in the near future and assuring Europe’s strategic independence,” Le Maire said.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Writing by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Mark Heinrich