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N° 35–2006: Space, defence and European security discussed at Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana

18 September 2006

The WEU Assembly and the European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) are jointly holding a conference on space, defence and European security in Kourou, French Guiana from 19-22 September 2006, at the invitation of the European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency (CNES) and Arianespace. Numerous members of the national parliaments of European countries, as well as representatives of the European Parliament and the EU Military Staff and Satellite Centre, will be attending, alongside leading figures from Europe’s space industry. The conference will address the various aspects of a European Space Policy having regard to security and defence, with a particular focus on the technological and industrial capacities needed to achieve such a policy.

WEU Assembly President Jean-Pierre Masseret (Senator, F), EISC President François Roelants du Vivier (Senator, B) and WEU Assembly Technological & Aerospace Committee Chairman Edward O’Hara (MP, UK) will be opening the proceedings. Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall will present the launch facilities in Kourou.

During the first session on 20 September, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, CNES President Yannick d’Escatha and representatives of European institutions will put forward their ideas on the development of a European Space Policy. “We are taking a further step towards the definition a European Space Policy with a view to next year’s concrete developments”, explains Jean Jacques Dordain.

During the second session, on 21 September, François Auque and Alain Charmeau from Astrium, Jean-Paul Herteman from the Safran Group’s aeronautics & space propulsion department, José María Martí Fluxá from Indra Espacio and Pascale Sourisse from Alcatel -Alenia Space will identify the technological and industrial capacities needed to develop a genuine European Space Policy.

The participants will be briefed on the Ariane 5 and Vega launch installations and visit the new Soyuz site.

For further information, please contact:

Fernando Doblas,

Head of ESA Communication Department

Phone: + 33 1 5369 8028

More info on ESA at http://www.esa.int

Queries: media@esa.int

Note for Editors:

The Assembly of WEU, Europe’s only interparliamentary security and defence assembly, was founded in 1954 when the 1948 Brussels Treaty was modified. It held its first session in 1955. The Treaty contains an unconditional mutual defence clause (Article V) and provides an organic link to NATO (Article IV). It also established the Assembly, to which some 40 countries send their parliamentary representatives. These include all the EU member states and the European NATO countries as well as Russia, Ukraine and all the Balkan states. The Assembly scrutinises European intergovernmental activities in all areas of security and defence, including armaments cooperation. Following the transfer of WEU’s operational activities to the EU, the Assembly also serves as the interparliamentary platform for the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) on the basis of the parliamentary instruments for which the WEU legal framework makes provision.

Press and Information office, WEU Assembly, 43, avenue du Président Wilson - 75775 Paris Cedex 16 - France Tel 00.33.1.53.67.22.00 - Fax 00.33.1 53.67.22.01, email: press@assembly.weu.int, More info at http://assembly.weu.int

The European Interparliamentary Space Conference was established in 1999 as a permanent forum for cooperation between the European national parliaments. It aims to develop a continuing dialogue on space policy issues and support national governments and European institutions in their efforts to achieve a common European Space Policy for the maximum benefit of Europe's citizens.

Every year a conference is held in order to discuss issues relating to space exploration and utilisation. Apart from the members of national parliamentary space groups, representatives of the European Commission, the European Space Agency, national space agencies, industry and observers from other space-faring countries also participate in the conferences.

The EISC encourages closer cooperation between the European Commission, the European Space Agency, the member states of ESA and the European Union, national space agencies and experts from science and industry, with the aim of creating a permanent and effective mechanism for implementing and maintaining a true European space strategy.

More info on EISC:

http://www.belspo.be/belspo/eisc/index_en.stm

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33.(0)1.5369.7299
Fax: +33.(0)1.5369.7690



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