Brussels, 24 May 2005
Environmental monitoring, navigation systems, weather forecasting, toll collection, early flood warnings... - the role that space plays in our daily lives is increasing. Taking the full economic impact of space applications into account, the European Commission has now outlined the first elements for a European Space Policy, which is expected to be devised and approved before the end of 2005. Today’s communication identifies the roles and responsibilities in space policy of the EU, Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA) and other stakeholders and the relevant funding sources and instruments. The Commission also specifies priorities, funding principles and an approach to developing a broad industry policy for Europe as a whole.
Vice-President Günter Verheugen said “This is the next concrete step toward a genuine European space policy. An enlarged and enlarging Europe has to have the tools available to deliver on its needs.”
An effective industrial policy will need to recognize the strategic nature of the space industry. This comprises the setting-up of the necessary institutional and regulatory framework and reaching a level-playing field with regard to the US, Russia and China where space industry benefits from important and protected institutional markets.
In particular, Galileo remains a priority for the EU and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) is proposed to become the second EU flagship.
In the context of the “i2010” (European Information Society in 2010) initiative, long term research into satellite communications technologies will remain significant.
ESA will focus on exploration of space and on the basic tools on which exploitation and exploration of space depend: access to space, scientific knowledge and space technologies.
Member States in the ‘Space Council’ have been invited to introduce their national programme priorities in order to contribute to the preparation of the European Space Programme
The costs of these priorities for the EU, ESA and Member State national programmes will be identified in the coming months and be subject to normal budgetary and programmatic approval procedures.
Europe should further build up its space partnership with Russia; maintain and develop its longstanding cooperation with the United States and continue cooperation actions in Eastern and Southern neighbour countries and developing countries.
The EU will contribute to the financing of space-related activities through different sources: funding for Galileo primarily from the trans-European networks (TEN) programme; funding for GMES from the 7th Framework Programme (FP 7), particularly the Security and Space, theme but also the Information and Communication Technologies theme; the latter also will support satellite communications research, horizontal FP7 Specific Programmes and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme will be applicable in several areas, a range of user policies which require space-based services will make provision for operational budgets.
The preliminary elements will be discussed at the Space Council planned for 7 June and the full space policy and space programme will be presented to Member States at the following Space Council meeting anticipated at the end of November.