Towards a genuine European Space Policy

On the occasion of the European Space Agency (ESA) Council in
Berlin today, European Commission Vice-President G¬?nter Verheugen
called for an efficient and strong European Space Policy. He
highlighted the already existing tangible aspects of the Commission??s
involvement in space activities. The launch of the first Galileo
satellite scheduled for the 26th of December EU represents the first
concrete step of the European Commission involvement in space. Galileo
will provide an enhanced version of GPS. Another new European space
flagship under preparation, the earth observation GMES programme
(Global Monitoring of Environment and Security), will help to prevent
and better deal with environmental pollution, floods, forest fires or
Vice-President Verheugen said: ?¨We need an efficient and strong
European space policy. For example, it will help us to find
evidence-based responses to environmental concerns, and it will benefit
the competitiveness of European industry. It will be a new innovation
locomotive not only for our space industry, but also for many other
industrial sectors, such as telecommunications. This is why we need to
join forces of all actors.?Æ
Until now more than 580 million ?Ñ of the
EU budget have been invested in the Galileo programme, which represents
the first Commission contribution in financing space projects. The
Galileo satellite navigation system is also the first concrete case of
collaboration between the Commission and the European Space Agency
The second European space flagship GMES
will gather relevant data to ensure that crisis situations can be
better anticipated and managed. It can provide the foundation for
enhanced environmental policy making, as well as the information
required to ameliorate its effects on citizens.
In the short term and as a first step, the Commission will develop three pilot services to be ready in 2008:
The Emergency Management service aims to reinforce the European
capacity to predict and respond to security and emergencies associated
with natural and man-made disasters.
The Land Monitoring service will deliver timely, important information on land use and land cover changes.
The Marine Services will provide data, information products and indicators on the condition of the seas.
The Competitiveness Council on 28 November
reached a consensus on financing future European space research under
the seventh R&D Framework Programme. This concerns space-based
applications at the service of the European Society (mainly GMES),
exploration of space, research and technological development for
strengthening space foundations and security.
More info at ESA
(Credits Europa)
Author: EARSC

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