‘A new space policy for Europe’ at the European Parliament


‘A new space policy for Europe’ at the European Parliament

29 October 2010
“Space represents our future”. “Europe could become world leader in a certain number of domains that use space.” These were some of the statements made by top-level European leaders at the conference held at the European Parliament’s hemicycle on 26-27 October under the theme ‘A new space policy for Europe’.

The focal point of the different debates was the new dimension that the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, provides for the European Space Policy and for Europe’s ambitions in the exploitation and exploration of space.
The conference highlighted the many opportunities space offers as a tool in European policy development and as a value-adder to stakeholders in industry and civil society.

“There is no competitiveness without Research and Innovation. Space is a domain where innovation is the engine. We must reinforce investments in space”, declared Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, who also stressed that “Space Policy is not only about satellites and launchers, but is also about providing concrete answers to the needs of European citizens.” He also declared that “Space represents our future”.

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, emphasised the political and strategic dimension of space for Europe: “We must promote Europe as a space power. To achieve this, we must build on the experience of ESA,” explained Mr Van Rompuy. “ESA should be reinforced in order to obtain full responsibility for the implementation of the Space missions that Europe’s status of world power requires.”

Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA, highlighted the importance of the Lisbon Treaty for space, for Europe and for ESA. Mr. Dordain recalled that “thanks to its Member States, Europe is leader in space science and technology and the European space industry and operators are among the most competitive of the world”. He also stressed that “the new competences of the European Union in space should allow Europe to be stronger in the world and to become world leader, through the relevant EU policies, in a number of domains that use space (environment, climate change, management of natural or man-made disasters, maritime surveillance, air traffic control, aid to development, security)” .“We must work all together towards achieving this”, concluded Mr. Dordain.

Speakers at the conference explored the many facets of space policy, emphasising the possibilities in the sector and the strong performance of ESA in ensuring Europe’s leadership in space. As Navigation and Earth Observation programmes continue to mature, opportunities are opening up for many new services. By exploiting these opportunities in space services, Europe is becoming increasingly well-positioned to take global leadership not only in space but also in the services space can offer its citizens.

ESA and the EU have been working together closely for many years, notably on flagship programmes covering satellite navigation like Galileo and EGNOS, and on the Earth Observation programme, GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security).

The event in Brussels was co-organised by the Sky and Space Intergroup of the European Parliament and Business Bridge Europe, and included an impressive roster of actors in European space policy from the European Union, the Member States and industry. Vittori Prodi, member of the European Parliament and Chairman of the “Sky and Space” intergroup declared that: “The US spends in space the equivalent of six times the combined budget of EU countries. Only by working together can we maximise the collective impact of Europe”.

By participating actively in the different panel discussions, Members of the European Parliament actively demonstrated their shared vision on the importance of the space sector for the future of Europe. When closing the Conference, Sabine Laruelle, Belgian Minister in charge of Science Policy and representative of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union concluded: “The Lisbon Treaty gives increased competences to the European Union on Space Policy. I express the wish that the three institutions, the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament fully embrace the new competences and move the European Space programme forward.”

Building Europe’s vision for space exploration

Adolf Hitler dreamed of a European Union. The EU is nothing more than a military dictatorship. I bolded something very relevant quoted from Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council. Promote the EU as a “space power”, “world power”? Where have I heard that before, oh yes, of course, Adolf Hitler. The rationalization from Van Rompuy, is that America spends a whole lot more on its space domination, therefore so must the EU strive to be a world power. Power, suggests military. There is much more going on here, than meets the eye.

An international vision for space exploration

22 October 2010
A shared vision for space exploration came into sharper focus this week when European ministers, space executives and international representatives met to discuss their ambitions for future space exploration.

Given its importance, more than 150 people attended the second International Conference on Space Exploration from 32 countries, including eight countries from outside Europe. Most of the major international space agencies were represented. ESA, the European Commission, members of the European Parliament, scientific and trade associations also attended the event in Brussels, 21 October.

The Conference unanimously concluded that action is needed now to ensure that Europe has a significant role in future space exploration. It confirmed that space exploration is a driver for innovation, developing new technologies and making scientific discoveries, but also a political and global endeavour

As a result of the constructive atmosphere, the Conference ended with the unanimous decision that concrete action is needed in four main areas, with specific actions for Europe (see link in right hand side bar).

All delegations agreed to meet next year in Italy for the first meeting of a high-level ‘platform’ to work together on the future of space exploration.

The Conference at Ministerial level was co-organised by the Belgium EU Presidency, the European Commission, the Italian Presidency of the ESA Council and ESA.


E. Actions for Europe
Against this background, the EU, ESA and their Member States are invited to:
>Examine the feasibility of a European space exploration strategy building on existing
competences, strengths and priorities;
>Support the extension of ISS at least until 2020 and strive for its exploitation. Seek that ISS
utilisation is made accessible to all ESA and EU Member States to optimise and broaden
European scientific, technological and operational returns. Study together with the ISS partners
the potential opening up of ISS utilisation to additional non-European participants;
> Initiate further reflection on an international common space exploration transportation policy;
> Establish in 2011 long-term roadmaps and associated programmes for technology , in particular
in critical areas such as life support, automation and robotics, novel energy sources and storage
and advanced propulsion;

>On the basis of the proposed international high level space exploration platform, organise its
first meeting by end 2011.

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