“Space strategy for tomorrow – the steps forward”
In their Joint Statement on Shared Vision and Goals for the Future of Europe in Space, signed on 26 October 2016, the EU and ESA, for which it served as high-level policy guiding element for respectively the Communication for a “Space Strategy for Europe” and the strategy on “Space 4.0 for a United Space in Europe”, re-affirmed Europe’s ambitions in space: maximise the integration of space into European society and economy, providing effective solutions to the big societal challenges faced by Europe and the world, foster a globally competitive European space sector, by supporting research, innovation, entrepreneurship for growth and jobs, European autonomy in accessing and using space in a safe and secure environment. Which initiatives have already been or will be taken for the further development of the European space industry and, in particular, to address the vulnerability of the European supply chains? Which initiatives to support the European space entrepreneurs on global markets by using the EU “economic diplomacy” and trade policy instruments? At what stage is the industrial process leading to Ariane 6 to be operational? What about the establishment of a “European preference” for institutional satellites’ launches to enhance the commercial competitiveness of current and future rockets? Which new types of predictable trade relations are to be foreseen between contractors and suppliers? How to promote and support space start-ups and SMEs on a larger scale?
“Space at the service of a prosperous & sustainable Europe – GNSS and Copernicus for mobility”
Space offers increasingly more services to meet the EU main priorities pursued through several European policies, from agriculture to border control. Mobility is just one example. Indeed, a better mobility of persons and goods in Europe is one of the keys for a future-oriented society and economy. It is becoming ever more obvious that space tools are more and more contributing to its optimization, regardless to the mode of transport and the type of space services: operating navigation and positioning data, such as those provided by the European constellations EGNOS and Galileo, satellite telecommunications services, or images and other data provided by the sentinel satellites of the Copernicus program.
“Space accessible and safe to operate: independent access, traffic management, space debris and weather conditions”
Where does the European industry stand regarding the development of breakthrough technologies able to meet the arising space needs? How advanced are the European initiatives in the field of future European launchers as well as in the development of technologies providing solutions to face threats in space, such as debris or weather conditions? What is the role of governments and agencies? What stage has been reached in these fields at international cooperation level and in the prospect of a potential space traffic management system?
“Space for a strong EU on a global scene – examples: climate, science and exploration”
Does Europe start pursuing its interest to commit itself more actively in the exploration of space? Is it expecting a specific European strategy? Which initiatives are possible on short and medium-term? Would it be possible for some of European scientific research programmes to be optimized thanks to space experiments? Moreover: could Europe consider developing and implementing, in long or short term, a comprehensive strategy for space research?
“Space EU financial support expectations”
The current Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020) and the EU R&D programme Horizon 2020 as well as the 2016 ESA’s Ministerial roadmap “In the era of Space 4.0” will expire at the end of this decade. Which financial support could the space industry expect from European decision makers in 2019, regarding the renewal of these financial commitments for the years to come? What is the forecast for a new MFF “2021 & beyond”? What ambition for the space sector within the 9th EU R&D and Innovation Program? What purposes to be expected for the next ESA Ministerial Council and which financial needs could follow? What is the large role foreseeable for EIB in the space field? How to boost the participation of private capital?
“A prosperous & social Europe: the case of connectivity”
Connectivity as a key factor for the future of the European society and economy. What European initiatives should be taken to assure the best possible use of commercial Satcoms as economically efficient contributors to the European ecosystem in term of connectivity and digitalization? Will the European operators obtain in this perspective a guaranteed access to a protected radio frequency spectrum? Will the evolution of technologies and needs entail a restructuration of the European sector?
“Space for security and defence in Europe: beyond the dual-use”
Is it both a need and an opportunity to review the current European civil space programmes to optimize their security & defence uses by European Member States? Do the current European security & defence policy and the future European defence project carried by several EU Member States need new and specific autonomous space tools? What role agencies can have? What are the critical technologies and key equipment towards which the R&D and innovation efforts coming from European programmes and European industry shall tend? What is the medium and long term European policy to follow in the field of GovSatComs aiming to ensure highly secure telecommunication for the defence and security purposes? How to tackle the ever-growing role of cyber-security factors and potential hybrid threats? In this perspective, which EU financial support should follow in order to insure “non dependence” of European defence?