New Euro Space Policy
The breakthrough of the new policy, put together after two years of work by the European Commission and the European Space Agency, is in the creation of a unified European framework, integrating the policies and approaches of individual EU member states as well ESA.
As ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said: "Today we have made a giant leap. For 40 years Europe has realised important projects ... but what's new is that this space policy is going to integrate 29 European countries."
ESA's announcment today includes these highlights of the policy:
The European Space Policy aims at fostering better coordination of space activities between the EU, ESA and their respective Member States, to maximise value for money and avoid unsustainable duplication, thus meeting shared European needs. Increased synergy between civil and defence space programmes and technologies is also addressed by the ESP.As to the importance of the policy for space business, Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, said: "Without the European Space Policy, Europe could become irrelevant. With this Resolution on the European Space Policy, we intend to live up to Europe's global leadership aspirations in important industrial and research areas, which will provide growth and jobs for the future. Moreover, space has always been a source of inspiration which helps people to think outside and beyond the limits and to innovate. Today's proposal marks a milestone, to ensure that Europe does not miss out on the important opportunities that space technology offers."
The new policy calls for ensuring sustainable funding for space applications, in particular the flagship initiative Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). It also recognises that space is a high value-adding sector, a driver for growth, innovation and employment and a valuable opportunity provider for European industry.
Moreover, the European Space Policy supports the EU's external relations, insofar as the EU, ESA and their Member States will put in place a coordination mechanism to develop a joint strategy for international relations regarding space activities.
And for more Euro space policy background and documents to keep anyone in space policy heaven, here are Europe's key documents related to space, including the Green Paper, not to be confused with the White Paper, followed by the EC-ESA Framework Agreement and much more.
I'll watch for good analysis of Europe's announcement from serious space policy wonks. Meanwhile, SLP says congratulations to Europe on achieving this new approach to space matters.