Europe moves closer to European Space Policy lift-off

Info extracted from Cordis News.
Ministers from the countries affiliated to the EU and/or the European
Space Agency met on 7 June to take stock of progress towards the
implementation of a European Space Policy. The policy is set to be
approved at the next meeting of ministers in November.
Ministers named the Galileo satellite
navigation system and the global monitoring for the environment and
security (GMES) programme as the ‘flagship’ activities, and also
underlined the necessity of implementing a custom-made industrial
policy for space.
The distinct roles of the
EU and ESA have also now been agreed. The EU will retain responsibility
for identifying and supporting valuable ways in which space can be used
for environmental protection, security, information and transport.
ESA’s role within the partnership will involve facilitating space
exploration, guaranteeing access to space through its family of
launchers and developing new technologies.
Edelgard Bulmahn, Germany’s Minister for
Education and Research, and the current chair of the ESA Council,
indicated that the EU has a lot to learn from ESA, saying: ‘In the last
decades, ESA has developed a system that ensures a fair balance with
regard to returns to the Member States. We must use this experience and
adapt it to EU rules.’
ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain
voiced the agency’s willingness to change at the meeting: ‘ESA is
prepared to adapt in order to take on an even greater role for Europe,’
he said.
The space policy is likely to include: a
European space strategy; a programme reflecting associated costs and
funding sources; a commitment by the main contributors to their roles
and responsibilities; and procedures for implementation.
Author: EARSC

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