Parliamentarians discuss European Space Policy in Brussels

The eighth European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) was held at the Belgiam Senate in Brussels in June 2006. MPs from 10 European countries met to discuss European Space POlicy, emphasising international co-operation, space applications and education. 
Under the aegis of the 2006 Belgian EISC Presidency, the Conference brought together members of the EISC, the EU and ESA Member States. Representatives of the Russian, Chinese and the Ukrainian space organisations also attended.
What is the EISC?
In 1999, MPs from France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom combined forces to create the European Interparliamentary Space Conference, in support of a comprehensive European Space Policy. In 2000, they were joined by MPs from Belgium and Spain.
The EISC has been an active contributor to the definition of a European Space Policy, launching important initiatives on GALILEO, Ariane and GMES. Members work diligently to mobilise their own governments around a true European space programme, in co-operation with colleagues from other national parliaments.
The current Belgian EISC Presidency has emphasised on the importance of real European solidarity in the space field.
All points covered
Acting as 2006 EISC Conference Chairman was Belgian Senator Fran?Åois Roelants du Viviers. Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, and Paul Weissenberg, Director for Aerospace, security, defence and equipment at the European Commission, also addressed the Conference, presenting the views of their organisations on European Space Policy.
This year??s Conference included major presentations and roundtable discussions on:
* Current European space projects ?± Galileo and GMES
* International co-operation
* Space applications
* Human space flight
* Space and education
The Conference comes at a critical moment in the development of a comprehensive European approach to space activities. The Union is in the process of finalising the 2007-2013 Financial Perspective, under which ?Ñ1.43 billion has been earmarked for space research within the Seventh EU Research Framework Programme. Meanwhile, the European Space Council is scheduled to endorse a new EU Space Policy, currently being prepared by the European Commission and ESA, in the first half of 2007.

Space, defence and security workshop planned
The next EISC event will be an international workshop at Europe??s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, from 19 to 22 September 2006. The workshop, organised with the support of ESA, CNES and Arianespace, will tackle space, defence and security, and will be attended by national representatives of the WEU (Western European Union) NATO, European space institutions, the space industry and specialists in European defence and security strategy.
More information:
* EISC website
* ESA portal
(Credits Europa
Author: EARSC

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