Space activities and applications have become truly indispensable for our citizens, our economy and our society. They have a direct impact on our daily lives. They make a substantial contribution to enhancing our well-being as well as to the sustainable, smart and inclusive development of our economy.
These are the main conclusions drawn from the fourth annual Conference on European Union space policy held on 8 & 9 November at the Hemicycle of the European Parliament.
Policy-makers, business leaders, scientists and representatives of civil society attended the conference. The different presentations and discussions demonstrated that it is more than legitimate for the EU to engage and actively support space activities in Europe in close cooperation with its Member States and the European Space Agency.
The major points made in the various plenary sessions were:
- Space is a substantial driver for industrial innovation and hence for value-added products
- A crucial sector benefiting from space-based technology and services is crisis management. In order to provide a timely, efficient and cost-effective crisis response in emergency situations during natural or man-made disasters the smart use of all available earth-observation tools
- Space-based applications also play an invaluable role for environmental activities. Precise observation and monitoring of our planet, and in particular of the oceans, heavily rely on earth observation satellites.
- Likewise, agriculture and fisheries sectors as well as territorial planning heavily gain from more space-based information.
- Finally, the conference reminded us of the daily benefits of satellite navigation, which provides for a more reliable and sustainable transport sector or the benefits of satellite communications in our daily lives?
The conference also addressed governance and financial aspects. Speakers referred in particular to the provisions for Galileo in the next EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2014–20 as well as the future release of a communication on the development and deployment of the earth observation programme GMES.
The European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) will release a summary of the debates in the shortest deadline. Please visit their website for an update.