Chip Sector’s Struggles

Chip Sector

This article was last updated on April 3, 2024

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Understanding the Current State

In the past, members of the parliament would approach companies seeking answers to their questions before any major decision. However, this practice of maintaining open lines of communication seems to have waned. The chip sector, which includes major stakeholders such as ASML and NXP, seize this moment as an opportunity to strengthen their ties with the members of the House of Representatives and express their concerns about their industry.

Changes in Power Dynamics

With a new House of Representative comes new power dynamics. The VVD, which had been the most influential party and a strong advocate for businesses is now displaced by PVV as the leading party. This shift has made it more challenging for industries to reach out to the representatives. The recent visit of BBB to the Eindhoven region – a significant hub in the chip industry – fosters hope of better communication.

Addressing the Tax Cuts

Last year, the chip sector and other large multinational companies faced two significant tax cuts — the expat scheme and regulation on the purchase of own shares. Such changes have considerably impacted the business climate, sparking frustrations and concerns within the affected industries.

The Role of Political Reporter Roel Bolsius

Roel Bolsius asserts that businesses’ welfare comprises more than just taxes. It also involves aspects such as housing, education, and infrastructure. While parties acknowledge the need for a positive business climate, they maintain that not all propositions from multinationals are automatically approved.

The Impact of Unilever and Shell’s Departure

The recent departure of Unilever and Shell remain fresh in the minds of the society. The outgoing cabinet announced a sizeable financial boost for the region and is considering alternative coverage for shareholders’ purchase of own shares – an issue multinational companies perceive as worrisome.

Addressing the Sources of Funding

Views on the source of funding differ among parties. Some contend it should come from other companies, while others believe it should stem from the citizens. However, there is a general consensus that criticisms against multinationals should not be generalized. Companies need to understand that, until the formation stabilizes, uncertainties concerning policies such as the expat scheme might persist.

Perceptions of the Chip Sector

The prevalent perception within the chip industry’s board of directors is that the Netherlands is no longer as ideal a location due largely to the uncertainties. However, Mayor Jeroen Dijsselbloem remains optimistic, pointing out how various successful tech companies are being courted from the US, France, and Germany. Representatives from these countries even go as far as putting together comprehensive bid books and making many promises about housing provision, offices, and technically trained personnel.

Assessing Possible Movements in the Future

It is not unrealistic for companies based in the Netherlands to relocate their headquarters due to pressure from shareholders, primarily due to the upcoming tax on the purchase of own shares. In such cases, the dividend tax goes to another country, which could potentially amount to more than the tax on the purchase of own shares.

Two Defining Moments of Conflict

Two conflicting situations significantly strained the relationship between politicians and multinationals. First, there was the proposal to tax the purchase of own shares to increase the minimum wage. This move could cost a company tens to hundreds of millions of euros per year. The second blow followed a month later when the expat scheme, which made it attractive for companies to attract international talent, was simplified. The released money was then used to compensate the so-called ‘unlucky generation’ among students.

The Interdependency Between Companies and Politicians

Ellis Aizenberg, an assistant professor of public administration at Leiden University, stresses the importance of maintaining communication between companies and politicians due to their interdependent relationship. She maintains that such links are not necessarily negative. Instead, they are integral to policy making and politics. Aizenberg believes that such communication will never completely disappear because organized interests form an integral part of a democratic system.


The chip sector’s struggle for better communication with the House of Representatives emphasizes the importance of maintaining dialogue between the industry and policymakers. Establishing clear lines of communication is crucial in any sector, and market leaders need to actively engage with the representatives to ensure their concerns are duly recognized and addressed.

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