Europe's space industry – competing globally in a complex sector Published on: 28/02/2013
Space is at the service of the European citizens. Many of the systems and services that are today essential for our well-being and security depend directly or indirectly on space.
Without being aware, European citizens rely on space technologies when they use their mobile phones, make financial transactions, take an airplane, watch the weather forecast or look for the nearest restaurant using their cars' navigation system. Space has become part of our daily lives. The Commission therefore proposes a new space policy to meet the challenges of today's world.
Europe's space industry is a driver for growth and innovation and a highly strategic sector, helping us face both societal challenges and create innovative technologies and services. Existing space programmes Galileo and EGNOS are expected to generate economic and social benefits worth around €60-90 billion over the next 20 years.
EU space industry under pressure
Space has become a global business. The European space sector is increasingly under pressure from industries in new emerging space powers such as India and China. Also, the European space industry differs from its main international competitors to the following extent: its budget is smaller, it relies more on commercial sales, the part of military expenses is smaller, and synergies between civil and defence sectors are far less developed. Furthermore, unlike the US, Europe's downstream satellite navigation and Earth observation markets are only now emerging.