EU High Representative Josep Borrell affirmed his belief this morning (13 January) in the importance of space in the future of European strategic autonomy. Opening the second day of the 13th European Space Conference, the EU Foreign Minister highlighted the defence and security benefits alongside the economic benefits of a strong European space programme:
“Space is a crucial component of our wider work on developing Europe’s strategic autonomy. If there is one thing that the pandemic and 2020 have taught us, it is that we need to enhance our strategic autonomy – in different domains […] Our presence in space enables us to achieve our goals in science, economy and security. In this way, our European space sector is an enabler of European strategic autonomy.”
Borrell’s vision for the future of EU space policy is based on two pillars:
- 'security from space' - to protect the security of the Union and of its citizens on Earth dealing with security situations such as disaster response, border and maritime surveillance and terrorist attacks.
- 'security of space': to protect the security of the Union in space. This in turn has two elements. The ability to react in the case of a threat to the Union’s space assets; and Space Traffic Monitoring. According to the European External Action Service (EEAS), this pillar allows the EU to use space as an enabler for its economy and other policies.
The virtual conference, taking place on 12 and 13 January, was organised by the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Space Agency and Business Bridge Europe.
In 2015, the European External Action Service created the EEAS Space Task Force to provide analysis and policy recommendations on all issues related to space as well as operational support. The Task Force is headed by Carine Claeys, the Special Envoy for Space, who stated at the conference that:
“Space is a valuable asset but it is more and more congested, congested and competitive. That is the reason why we need to take action for a safe, secure, sustainable outer space.”
Source: commonspace.eu with agencies
Photo: 13th European Space Conference; European External Action Service