Proposed EU space strategy would lead to more coordinated investment, and boost growth and jobs.
The EU already has its own space navigation and Earth observation programmes – EGNOS, Galileo and GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) – for strategic and economic reasons.
The Commission wants to build on these programmes with a common space strategy – aimed at securing the EU’s independence and its position as a global leader in space technology. To achieve these goals, the EU needs to maintain independent access to space.
EGNOS, the EU’s first step in satellite navigation, is now operating over Europe and includes a service that makes air travel safer. Galileo will provide Europe with its own global satellite navigation service, distinct from the US’s GPS. The EU’s Earth observation system, GMES, will be ready in 2014.
The new strategy proposes:
Economic growth and jobs
The space industry directly contributes to the EU's Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs. Better telecommunications, navigation and environmental monitoring systems help companies develop new, innovative services – creating high-skilled jobs, more business opportunities and spin-off technologies.
European space manufacturers currently have an annual turnover of €5.4bn and employ 31 000 staff. Europe’s 11 major satellite operators employ 6 000 people and have a turnover of €6bn per year.
The Commission will consider concrete proposals later in 2011, once the proposed strategy has been discussed.