European space policy programme to launch

European space policy programme
© iStock/peepo

EU Member State ambassadors agreed yesterday on the European Council’s position on a draft regulation establishing a European space policy programme.

The new European space policy programme regulation, first proposed by the European Commission in June 2018, will cover the provision of:

  • Secure, high quality, up-to-date data and services pertaining to space;
  • Increased growth and job creation as an effect of the use of these data and services;
  • Enhanced strategic autonomy and regional security within the EU; and
  • A more prominent place for the EU in the global space technology sector.

The text on the European space policy programme does not cover the financial or horizontal issues involved in establishing a fully functional space studies scheme. These will be addressed separately, during negotiations for the next multiannual financial framework for the period from 2021 and 2030.

The European space policy programme regulation aims to:

  • Streamline and simplify the European Union’s existing legal framework as it pertains to space policy;
  • Provide the EU with adequate budgetary concessions to continue and augment existing space programmes such as EGNOS, Galileo and Copernicus, monitor space-based hazards through the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme; and provide secure satellite communications access to participating Member State governments;
  • Draw up and implement a set of rules for the governance of the European space policy programme; and
  • Establish a standardised EU-wide security framework covering all aspects of the programme.

Norbert Hofer, Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology of Austria, said: “Space plays an increasingly important role in our everyday life. Space-related inventions and services are already changing the way we live and work. The European Union is determined to keep the leading edge and the place it deserves in the global space economy.”

The Presidency of the EU will now put the draft European space policy programme regulation to the European Parliament and enter into negotiations for the eventual adoption of the regulation.

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