Global positioning and satellite navigation systems, as well as space-based telecommunications systems and earth, ocean and atmosphere observation and surveillance, know no frontier other than those imposed by their own technological limits.
For this reason, this conference was opened by focussing in particular on the global dimension of space policies from around the world, and thus the considerable responsibility that lies with the EU in contributing to providing all of humanity with the space-based tools that are indispensable to its environment, security and, indeed, survival.
The European Union is now already engaged, with the collaboration of ESA, in three space programmes – EGNOS, Galileo and GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) – whose strategic importance for the EU’s role in world affairs is matched only by the now-recognised essential character of the services offered to the daily lives of citizens, and the day-to-day of public services and businesses. This includes in terms of the protection of the environment, mobility, support for agriculture, improving industrial performance, innovative telecommunications, meteorology, managing humanitarian crises and natural and man-made disasters, etc. This is without mentioning an aspect on which, nowadays, particular emphasis is being placed: restoring growth and the creation of employment by strengthening the competitiveness of industry and the creation of new businesses.
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