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Over the past 50 years, investments from ESA, EU and their member States have helped to shape a European space industry which successfully competes at a global level. Ariane launchers, for example, are one of the most reliable launchers worldwide. Similarly, European telecommunications satellites rank among the very best globally. The space industry offers an ever expanding array of space products and services which are changing the way people go about their daily lives. They continue to evolve in technological sophistication and capability, and their applications continue to change and adapt with the needs of the economy. Space manufacturing and service industries are the strategic high-tech sectors driving growth and innovation well beyond the space sector, delivering value across all economic areas.

A competitive European space industry is of strategic importance. Europe needs strong and competitive companies along the space 'value chain': developers and manufacturers of space systems, providers of satellite capacity, and value-added services.

The space sector is a showcase and barometer demonstrating the vigour of the European industrial base. It has become an integral part of the EU's toolbox, increasing its competiveness and providing socio-economic benefits. Therefore, the space sector directly contributes to the objectives of the European 2020 Strategy: Europe's growth strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. A focused European industrial policy will stimulate competiveness, help to manage cyclical variations in demand, and ensure that investment in technology and skills is maintained.

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