2008-09-29 - EU space policyEU Ministers decide on space investments
Ergebnisse der Ministerratssitzung<br /> Ministers in charge of space activities within ESA and European Union Member States met in Brussels for the fifth Space Council. The Space Council was jointly chaired by French Minister of Higher Education and Research Valérie Pécresse, on behalf of the EU Competitiveness Council, and Maria Van Der Hoeven, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and current Chair of the ESA Council at ministerial level.
Günter Verheugen, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, also took part. Commenting on the outcome, Maria Van Der Hoeven said: "The Space Council has welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the European Space Policy over the last 16 months, and has identified further priority areas for its implementation. It is important that we maintain momentum. In particular, Europe needs to ensure that it delivers the flagship satellite applications programmes Galileo and Kopernikus. The Council has set out the requirements for an action plan on Kopernikus implementation, which should include sustainable funding, operational service delivery mechanisms, an approach for the overall governance of the system and of all its components and a comprehensive data policy. We will then address new priorities from a position of strength.
Europe now has a stable foundation for its space activities, supported as they are by the three legs of the European Space Agency, the Europan Union and their respective Member States. This will be reinforced not only by today's meeting but also by the ESA Council at ministerial level, which is due to take place on 25-26 November in The Hague." The Space Council adopted a Resolution which highlights the significant advances in the two initial priorities and flagship space programmes of the European Space Policy, Galileo and Kopernikus.
The Space Council identified the need to draw up a plan that provides for sustainable operational funding for Kopernikus and welcomed the proposal by the European Commission to start this with a new preparatory action in the preliminary budgets for 2009. As to the R&D phases of the programme, the Council welcomed the ESA Director General's intention to submit to the Ministers of its Member States, gathering in Council in The Hague in November of this year, a proposal for the subscription of the second segment of the Kopernikus Space Component that will make it possible to complete the development of most of the initial series of Sentinel satellites.