Jul 17, 2008

Bridging The Gap Between Space And Society

The half-day conference “Regional Policy: Benefits from Satellite Information and Services” to be held in Brussels, on the morning of 11th September 2008, is the mid-term event of Eurisy’s 5-year programme supporting Local and Regional Authorities to improve their access to the benefits of space technology.

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Society faces growing challenges while local and regional authorities are increasingly recognised as major players in running our complex European society.

This is due to the growing awareness that managing global changes needs action at local as well as global level and because of the regions’ increasing role in the European multilevel governance structure and their proximity to the issues specific to their territory.

Therefore, European and national politicians count especially on these territorial entities to materialise policy objectives such as those of the Lisbon agenda.

Numerous best-practice examples show that satellite information and services already provide useful and innovative solutions for local and regional authorities to cope with societal, economic and environmental problems.

They deliver breakthrough solutions for managing increasingly complex issues such as monitoring the natural environment, controlling the over-exploitation of natural resources, natural disaster management, pollution, agriculture and forestry, real estate, traffic management, tracking of goods, assistance to disabled people, spatial planning, energy production and distribution, e-Government and many more.

However, it can be observed that many local and regional authorities do not yet profit from these benefits and that their full potential remains unexploited.

Since its start in 2006 Eurisy’s Programme for Local and Regional Authorities has thus organised several conferences and workshops with the support of institutions such as the Committee of the Regions, the Assembly of European Regions, the European Commission, the European Space Agency and many other organisations dealing with regional affairs, to identify the regions’ needs and points of view concerning the implementation and the use of satellite-based applications.

During this bottom-up consultation process Eurisy has gathered valuable feed-back from the regions on how to improve this situation.

This conference is therefore a unique possibility to engage in a fruitful discussion with politicians and decision makers from the European Commission, the European Parliament, international and European institutions and the regions to find solutions for a facilitated access for regions to the benefits from satellite information and services.

To stimulate the debate Eurisy, in close cooperation with the Assembly of European Regions, has produced a position paper which contains specific recommendations that will be discussed during a round table discussion with experts.

Some 100 representatives are expected to attend the conference, coming from European institutions, local and regional authorities, with an interest in finding out how the access to the benefits from satellite information and services can be facilitated for local and regional authorities. They are expected to engage in a lively discussion following the various presentations and a high-level round table debate.

Eurisy- a European non-profit organisation mandated by its members (the European Commission, ESA, national space agencies and others)-aims at facilitating the process of cross-sector appropriation of space application-based tools. Additionally, Eurisy provides the service industry and governmental bodies with a bottom-up feedback from user communities across Europe.

Source EURISY