Space is one of today’s major growth industries. To name just one example: The telecommunications sector generates revenue of over 100 billion Euros every year – thanks to advances in satellite technology including global coverage. The bottom line: Europe should become a driving force in the industry or risk missing out. For this to happen, support from European policymakers remains crucial despite the involvement of private actors in the space sector.
In its Space Strategy for Europe, the European Union acknowledges that innovative industrial processes are revolutionizing the sector and can attract new companies and entrepreneurs. In order for Europe to keep up with this trend, its institutions must open up new sources of financing, create new business models and foster conditions that allow an entrepreneurial ecosystem to emerge. At the same time, however, it is vital that policymakers ensure independent, guaranteed European access to space and continue their support of traditional European space programmes, such as those for navigation (Galileo and EGNOS), Earth observation (Copernicus), secure satellite communications (GovSatcom), and space surveillance and tracking (SST).
New Space is full of opportunities. But only with continuous support from the EU – both in terms of policy and budget – can Europe pursue its strategic interests and preserve its autonomy in the sector.