The Council adopted its first reading position on the proposed regulation establishing the EU space programme ( “the programme”) for the years 2021 to 2027 on 19 April 2021. This follows up on a deal reached last December with the European Parliament that paves the way for the swift adoption of the draft regulation at second reading.
Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister for Science and Technology and Higher Education stated that: "The EU relies on space activities as drivers of sustainable economic growth and security. Our new EU space programme will enable us to remain competitive in the New Space economy and to preserve the EU’s space sovereignty. It will boost our economic recovery from the pandemic and our transition towards a green and digital economic model."
The regulation will ensure:
high-quality, up-to-date and secure space-related data and services;
greater socio-economic benefits from the use of such data and services, such as increased growth and job creation in the EU;
enhanced security and autonomy of the EU;
a stronger role for the EU as a leading actor in the space sector.
It will achieve this by:
simplifying and streamlining the existing EU legal framework on space policy;
providing the EU with an adequate space budget to continue and improve on existing space flagship programmes such as EGNOS, Galileo and Copernicus, as well as monitor space hazards under the ‘space situational awareness' component (SSA) and cater for access to secure satellite communications for national authorities (GOVSATCOM);
establishing the rules for governance of the EU space programme;
standardising the security framework of the space programme.
Space technology and data have become an essential part of Europeans' everyday lives and play a key role for several strategic interests. In this regard, the European Union has become strained in recent years to expand its space ambitions. ECOPNET (European Cooperation & Partnership Network) welcomes efforts of the EU to encourage scientific and technological developments by supporting the innovation capacity of space sector industries.
Source: European Council Press Releases