EU Space taking off as EU Space Regulation is adopted
On 28 April, the European Parliament adopted the EU Space Regulation which foresees €14.8 billion in funding for the new EU Space Programme between 2021 and 2027. The new regulation paves the way for the European GNSS Agency (GSA) to be replaced and expanded upon by the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), with the Regulation coming into force soon and being retroactively applied from 1 January 2021. In addition to the EU’s flagship programmes Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus, the EU Space Programme encompasses Space Situational Awareness (SSA), and secure communications and connectivity through the upcoming GOVSATCOM programme. EUSPA will be in charge of “the exploitation of Galileo/EGNOS and security and development of downstream applications for all components of the Space Programme”.
This is to ensure that the European Union maintains its position as a global space power, laying the foundations for Europe’s new space ambitions. This move is to boost the economy, with 30+ EU-owned satellites in orbit, over 250,000 jobs being supported by EU Space, and it comes at a time when over 2 billion devices support Galileo and 60% of EO companies are already using data from Copernicus. In addition to the economy itself, this is to help Europe to hit its wider goals, with space acting as an enabling factor in downstream applications including agriculture, disaster response, renewable energy, and smart cities amongst others.
Rodrigo da Costa, GSA/EUSPA’s Executive Director, stated:
“EUSPA is ready to implement the EU Space Programme and join hands with our partners to make the EU space ambitions a reality. We will boost our support to reinforce the dynamic and innovative downstream sector because we want society to benefit even more from space-based services. We will continue delivering and enhancing safe and secure navigation services for the EU citizens and the Member States. We are committed to getting the best out of the EU Space Programme components, in particular Galileo, EGNOS, Copernicus and the upcoming GOVSATCOM, and are ready to contribute to new initiatives such as space-based secure connectivity.”
The EU is intending to develop the entire EU space ecosystem, including accelerating the deployment of the Galileo 2nd Generation, to modernise Copernicus’ infrastructure and services, and to create a €1 billion Space Investment Fund through CASSINI, a programme to accelerate expansion and innovation in SMEs and startups in the space industry, and to assist in the development of new technologies and processes. This competitive edge will ensure that Europe is prepared for the future, being at the forefront of the fight against climate change and it ensures that Europe can be a global actor.
With the EU Space Programme taking a leap forward, the EU is intensifying its international activities in space with a EU Foreign Policy Instrument titled “the Global Action to support the EU Space Programme worldwide”.