A ‘Joint Statement on Shared Vision and Goals for the Future of European Space’ was signed by ESA Director General Jan Wörner and European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska in Brussels today.
In the past two Space Councils, in an informal setting under the EU Council Presidency of Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the Member States of ESA and the EU have requested ESA and the EC together to come up with a set of joint visions and goals for the future of European space.
Over the past months, a joint drafting team with representatives from ESA and the EU worked together with the aim of identifying these common visions and goals for the two institutions to collaborate in the years to come. These visions and goals were confirmed in September by the ESA Council and Council of the EU as guiding principles for the future cooperation.
Space is part of everyday life of the European citizens. Europe needs to unleash its full potential as an enabler in pushing the frontiers of knowledge, stimulating jobs and sustainable growth, supporting decision and policy making, providing socioeconomic benefits, and inspiring and motivating the next generations.
The common European vision is that Europe remains a world-class actor in space and a partner of choice on the international scene. By 2030, Europe should be able to fully benefit from its space solutions to implement its policies, to strengthen European values and security, improve knowledge and foster prosperity. Every single European citizen should benefit from Europe's space capacities and capabilities.
The goals identified for the years to come are to:
- maximise the integration of space into European society and economy, by increasing the use of space technologies and applications to support public policies, providing effective solutions to the big societal challenges faced by Europe and the world, strengthening synergies between civilian and security activities in the fields of navigation, communication and observation, including through monitoring borders, land and maritime security conditions;
- foster a globally competitive European space sector, by supporting research, innovation, entrepreneurship for growth and jobs across all Member States, and seizing larger shares of global markets;
- ensure European autonomy in accessing and using space in a safe and secure environment, and in particular consolidate and protect its infrastructures, including against cyber threats.
In the Joint Statement the two institutions state that in order to achieve these goals, the EU and ESA emphasise their intention to reinforce their cooperation in the future as foreseen in the ESA/EU Framework Agreement of 2004. The ESA Director General Jan Wörner is using the shared vision and goals as a high-level policy guiding element in preparing his Director General’s proposal to ESA Member States for the 2016 Council at ministerial level which will take place on 1-2 December in Lucerne, Switzerland.
ESA’s Chief Strategy Officer