Taking forward the European Space Policy Published on: 30/09/2008
On 26 September 2008, the 5th Space Council welcomed the progress made with the implementation of the European Space Policy and highlighted new priority areas in a Resolution. This Resolution was adopted both by the Council of the EU (Competitiveness) and by the Ministerial Council of the European Space Agency (ESA).
The Resolution recognises that the European Union, alongside the ESA and the Member States, is a major player in space. The EU is charged in particular with the strengthening of the coordination of resources and programmes with ESA and the Member States and the development of EU instruments and funding schemes to allow for a long-term Community investment in space.
It also takes stock of the progress made with the two European flagship programmes Galileo and Kopernikus (formerly called GMES), inviting the Commission to elaborate an action plan for the setting-up of a Kopernikus programme.
Four new priority areas are defined: space and climate change, the contribution of space to the Lisbon strategy, space and security and space exploration. In the field of climate change, the Commission is invited to study the needs for full access to standardised data and for increased computing power. In the field of security, the Resolution underlines the need for Europe to equip itself with a capability to monitor and survey its space infrastructure and space debris, with the EU in liaison with the ESA and Member States taking an active role to define the governance of this capability. Finally, in the field of space exploration, the Commission is tasked with organising an international political conference to develop a common vision for Europe and its role in this global endeavour.