European Commission tables first elements for a European Space Policy

23 May 2005
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
(COM(2005)208 final 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.
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?Æ (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 implementation of the European Space Policy shall be accompanied by the development of:
(a) a sector-specific industrial policy, enabling Europe to ensure the industrial and
critical technological sources and competences required and, at the same time,
a globally competitive space industry;
(b) a policy on international cooperation which meets both wider geopolitical
objectives of European external relations policies, including neighbourhood
policy, and the effective day-to-day operation of space systems;
(c) instruments for investing in programmes and for ensuring their efficient management.
The preliminary elements will be discussed
at the Space Council planned for 6- 7 June 2005 in Luxembourg; 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
Info extracted from European Commission site
Author: EARSC

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