• Posted 26-Oct-2016

New EU space policy

EU space programmes already deliver services that benefit millions of people. The European space industry is strong and competitive, creating jobs and business opportunities for entrepreneurs. The European Commission proposed on 26 October 2016 a new space policy that will foster new services and promote Europe's leadership in space.

EU space programmes already deliver services that have become indispensable in everyone's daily lives. Space data is needed in using mobile phones, driving cars with a navigation system, taking the plane or watching satellite TV. It is also central to the protection of key infrastructures such as power plants, smart grids or even bank transactions. Space data helps to manage borders and save lives at sea. It improves our response to earthquakes, forest fires and floods. It allows farmers to plan ahead. It helps to protect the environment and monitor climate change.

The Space Strategy for Europe responds to growing global competition, increasing private sector involvement and major technological shifts. The Commission proposes a range of actions to allow Europeans to fully seize the benefits offered by space, create the right ecosystem for space start-ups to grow, promote Europe's leadership in space and increase its share on the world space markets.

Making the most of space for our society and economy

EU space programmes will deliver additional services which contribute to common European priorities such as security and defence as well as fighting climate change. The Commission will promote the use of Galileo in mobile devices and critical infrastructures and improve connectivity in remote areas. It will make it easier for innovative companies and start-ups to access space data via dedicated industry-led platforms in order to develop services and applications.

Fostering a competitive and innovative European space sector

EU funding will be more strongly geared towards space entrepreneurs starting and scaling up across the Single Market. Additionally, the Commission will promote more private investment for such start-ups, in particular in the context of the Investment Plan for Europe and the upcoming Venture Capital Fund of Funds. It will also support the emergence of European industrial space hubs and clusters in European regions.

Maintaining Europe's strategic autonomy, strengthening its global role in space 

The EU is the largest European institutional customer and plans to launch more than 30 satellites in the next 10-15 years for its Galileo and Copernicus programmes. This is an opportunity in particular for the economic viability of future European-built launchers such as Ariane 6 and Vega C. The Commission will act as a smart customer and aggregate its launch service needs. It will also continue to support European companies' access to global markets. Building on an existing initiative it will start working on a comprehensive EU Space Situational Awareness Service to protect critical space infrastructures from space debris, space weather and cyberattacks. Through the upcoming European Defence Action Plan, the Commission will also launch a GovSatCom initiative to ensure reliable, secured and cost-effective satellite communication services for EU and national public authorities.

More information: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-3531_en.htm