European Union Space Policy celebrates its 10th anniversary. Since 2007, it has established three major space programs and fostered space research, always in strong cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) created in 1975. But what does space mean for European citizens? And what is its way ahead?
The current Multiannual Financial Framework will be ending in 2020 – and so will the financing of Copernicus, Galileo and EGNOS. The release of the Space Strategy was an important first step to ensure that these flagships can be extended, and that additional needs for secured satellite communication, space surveillance and tracking, and independent access to space can be addressed. But there is still a long way ahead. Airbus urges all policymakers to implement the Space Strategy, adequately finance European space programs beyond 2020 and ensure a level-playing field with third countries which are strongly promoting their space activities. Only with sufficient public support, space-based applications and services can continue to contribute to Europe’s economy, security and society.