Space: a new European frontier for an expanding Union
action plan for implementing the European Space policy
space policy ready for lift-off: European Commission adopts Space Action Plan
policy paper on Space: A New European Frontier for an Expanding Union has
been presented by the European Commission in Brussels today. Space technologies
are set to play a key role in helping the Union achieve its main objectives:
faster economic growth, job creation and industrial competitiveness, enlargement
and cohesion, sustainable development and security and defence. The policy
paper was developed in close co-operation with the European Space Agency (ESA)
and calls for substantial additional spending on space. It also recommends
action to ensure Europes independent access to space, to enhance space technology,
promote space exploration, attract more young people into careers in science
and strengthen European excellence in space science. European Space Policy
will be implemented through a new multi-annual European Space Programme. It
will identify priorities, on a five-year basis, for research, infrastructure
development, services and technology. Applications might include satellite
broadband telecommunications to tackle the digital divide, and earth observation,
communication and positioning systems.
development of Europes capabilities in satellite communications, global positioning,
and Earth observation will boost applications and have important social, economic
and commercial benefits for Europe, said European Research Commissioner Philippe
Busquin. This Action Plan is the result of one of the most extensive consultations
ever conducted in the research and technology sector. The final result shows
that policy-makers and citizens alike strongly support a more active role for
the EU in space. This White Paper is a call for action to mobilise Europe towards
new goals and to meet new challenges. It will help us move ahead and put Europes
scientific talents, technologies and entrepreneurial skills to work for Europe
and its citizens.
technologies and applications can bring essential support to the Unions policies
and objectives. They have vast social, economic, and commercial potential.
Therefore the Commission recommends:
additional efforts into a variety of space infrastructures and applications,
which will make a crucial contribution towards satisfying the needs of the
citizens and in response to the Unions political objectives
the existing scientific and technical basis of space activities
the institutional structure to give the Union new responsibilities for driving,
funding and co-ordinating activities within an enlarged Space Policy.
Commission argues that Europe faces two real risks if it does not adopt a
new approach to space policy. It may run the risk of decline as a space power
and space companies could also suffer because of weak commercial markets, and
critical knowledge and skills could be permanently lost to Europe.
at work in Europe
is a key contributor to job creation and competitiveness in the EU in many
crucial high-tech sectors, especially telecommunications. Today, the European
space sector directly employs over 30,000 people in about 2,000 companies.
Restructuring of the EU space industry is of critical importance for its future
survival. To attract the necessary investment for the future, the EU space
industry will need a steady flow of work, in particular from a strong public
space policy: for a cleaner and safer Europe
White Paper also presents solutions for the policy challenges that are facing
the Union today. Space has substantial concrete contributions to make in a
wide range of domains such as the environment, transportation, telecommunications
and security. Europe already has cutting-edge technical capabilities in areas
where services and applications are necessary to support the implementation
of EU policies. In addition to operational communication systems, the EU has
adopted ambitious programmes for satellite navigation, timing and positioning
(GALILEO) and for global monitoring and earth observation (Global Monitoring
for the Environment and Security: GMES).
down to business
technologies support policies. Another important factor is that they can deliver
large commercial benefits. For instance, the market for satellite navigation
services and derived products around the world is growing by 25% a year and
could reach ¬100 billion by 2010, creating 40,000 skilled jobs in Europe. Additionally,
the worldwide market for space applications is rapidly expanding and could
reach an estimated total ¬350 billion turnover by 2010. Each euro invested
in space applications generates a turnover of ¬7-8 due to the development of
White Paper details specific concrete recommendations for guaranteeing independent
access to space, enhancing space technology, promoting space exploration, attracting
more young people into careers in science, strengthening European excellence
in space science, and fostering competitive, entrepreneurial companies.
Multi-Annual Space Programme
is proposed that these activities will be implemented under the aegis of a
multi-annual European Space Programme that would determine priorities, set
objectives, allocate roles and responsibilities and define annual budgets.
To be reviewed and updated every five years, the Programme would incorporate
research and development, infrastructure development, and services and technology.
first Multi-Annual Space Programme would cover the 2004-2007 period and would
implement the activities covered by the recent Framework Agreement between
the European Community and the ESA. A second phase will start in 2007 with
the coming into force of the European Constitutional Treaty, providing it establishes
space as a shared competence between the Union and the Member States.
Commission proposes three main budget scenarios to support the Action Plan. A
first option would be to support the needs identified during the consultation
on the European Commissions space policy (see IP/03/82 and IP/03/880) and
would involve an annual expenditure growth rate of 4.6%, with respect to the
overall public level of funding in 2003 (¬5,380 billion). The second scenario
presents an annual growth rate of 3.4%, a higher rate than the global growth
rate of the EU economy. The third is more modest and is based on the current
level of EU expenditures with a growth rate of 2.3 %, which, it is argued,
would not be sufficient to guarantee EU independence with respect to technology
and access to space.
PDF : English
version [881 Kb]
1 EUROPEAN SPACE PROGRAMME (framing the White Paper Action Plan) First sketch
2 RESOURCES ASSESSMENT
3 GREEN PAPER CONSULTATION PROCESS: MAIN MESSAGES
Annexes [606 Kb]