Following an exchange of views on “Space as an enabler” during the 9th EU-ESA Space Council, the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the Spanish Presidency of the ESA Council at ministerial level draw the following Conclusions:
Ministers welcomed the unanimous approval on the 28th of May 2019 of the EU Council Conclusions and the ESA Council Resolution on “Space as an enabler”. With this, the 9th EU-ESA Space Council has sent a clear message on the ambition to further consolidate the leading global role of Europe in the space area and on the willingness to put in place the means and efforts to accomplish this objective.
The progressive development of an overall European Space Policy, that ensures complementarity of public investment, a clear set of objectives and the best use of the existing capacities and experience, is of paramount importance in order to secure the best use of tax payers’ money and to benefit from the opportunities and challenges that a fast changing space context offers: with the advent of the so called “new space”, emerging space powers and a growing number of private companies invest in and exploit space assets.
Ministers acknowledged that Europe shall face the new challenges ahead building on past successes and respecting its long standing values. In this context, Europe will need to establish a solid basis for the future, founded on thoughtful investment in research, innovation, education and on fostering space vocations for the future generations.
Discussions have shown a wide acknowledgement of the need to coordinate actions among all European space stakeholders, particularly between the European Union and the European Space Agency, while being as inclusive as possible and bringing together the main public and private European players in the space landscape and building on their respective capacities, expertise and missions.
Without prejudging the decisions of the future Presidencies of the EU Council and the ESA Council, the Member States agreed that regular meetings of the EU-ESA Space Council are an important tool to secure coherence of action and to respond to global and societal challenges through the use of space-related applications.
In the course of discussions, Ministers emphasized the importance of pursuing some orientations in terms of approaching coordination, the integration of space in the day to day life of citizens and fostering the cross-fertilization of space and all other technology, industrial, economic and social fields.
In addition, ministers agreed that the following subjects would be a good basis for future work in the context of the EU-ESA Space Council: tackling climate change; space economic diplomacy, in support of the competitiveness of the European industry in the global market; New Space; Sustainable Development Goals; space traffic management, including space debris.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the German Delegation for its announcement that they plan to organise the EU-ESA Space Council on the occasion of its Presidency of the European Union during the second semester of 2020.