Sunday, March 17, 2019

EU Shapes Its Future Space Policy Program

Credit: ESA–Manuel Pedoussaut

The EU is designing its space policy program for the years 2021-2027. EU ambassadors meeting in Coreper on Wednesday confirmed the common understanding reached by the Romanian Presidency with the European Parliament on the draft regulation on an EU space program.

The common understanding excludes financial and other horizontal aspects of the program, which will depend on the future overall agreement on the next multiannual financial framework. 

The regulation will ensure: 
  • high-quality, up-to-date and secure space-related data and services; 
  • greater socio-economic benefits from the use of such data and services, such as increased growth and job creation in the EU; 
  • enhanced security and strategic autonomy of the EU; 
  • a stronger role for the EU as a leading actor in the space sector. 
It will achieve this by: 
  • simplifying and streamlining the existing EU legal framework on space policy; 
  • providing the EU with an adequate space budget to continue and improve on existing space flagship programs such as EGNOS, Galileo and Copernicus, as well as monitor space hazards under the ‘space situational awareness' program (SSA), and cater for access to secure satellite communications for national authorities (GOVSATCOM); 
  • establishing the rules for governance of the EU space program; standardizing the security framework of the space program. 
The Council expects the negotiations with the next European Parliament to resume as soon as possible, with a view to being finalized on the basis of the progress achieved as reflected in the common understanding. Negotiations will also need to take into account the future overall agreement on the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027.

On June 6, 2018, the Commission presented its proposal for a Regulation for a space program for the European Union. The proposed regulation is part of the follow-up to the Commission's Communication on a Space Strategy for Europe (SSE).

The budget for the program will only be finalized once there is an agreement on the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. The Commission proposal suggests an overall budget for the program of €16 billion in current prices for the period 2021-2027 with the following indicative breakdown: €9.7 billion for Galileo and EGNOS, €5.8 billion for Copernicus and €0.5 billion for SSA and GOVSATCOM.

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