ESA title

Joint statement on shared vision and goals for the future of Europe in space by the EU and ESA

3403 views 7 likes
ESA / About Us / Corporate news

1. Space is an important and strategic sector, contributing to various sectorial policies (e.g. energy, transport, digital agenda, including telecommunications, environment, climate change, agriculture, migration, security and defence, etc.).

Space is also an enabler for responding to societal challenges and it effectively contributes to smart growth, the competitiveness of the European economy, and produces highly qualified jobs.

The standing of Europe as a global player is reinforced by its important position in all segments of the space economy.

Space is expanding the frontiers of knowledge, is inspiring and motivating the next generations.

2. Europe has had many successes from breakthrough science and exploration missions across the Solar system, its contributions to the International Space Station, the development of unique Earth's monitoring systems with the Copernicus and meteorology programmes, a cutting-edge global navigation infrastructure with Galileo and EGNOS, world leading commercial telecommunications constellations and launch systems, and a solid industrial base, just to name a few.

Thanks to the efforts of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Union (EU) and their respective Member States, and the resulting excellence, inventiveness and innovativeness of its space sector, Europe has achieved autonomy in access to space, its use, and application of space technologies.

3. Today's challenges for the space sector are characterised by changing paradigms and new user needs, an increasing number of spacefaring countries and new private actors, as well as increasing reliance on space. The space sector is becoming more diverse and complex. As both competition and cooperation are intensifying, Europe needs to shape its future standing in the sector.

4. The EU and ESA share a common vision and goals for the European space sector to respond to these new challenges and turn them into opportunities. Our common European ambition 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. We thus envisage 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.


These goals should rest on the solid foundation of excellence in science, technology and applications, expressed through an environment of outstanding education and skills and a thorough knowledge base.

5. To achieve these goals, the EU and ESA emphasise their intention to reinforce their cooperation in the future, as foreseen in the EU-ESA Framework Agreement of 2004, and further develop it, taking into account the TFEU, in particular Article 189, and the ESA Convention, in particular Articles 2 and 5.

Done at Brussels on 26 October 2016

For the European Commission,  Elżbieta Bieńkowska

For the European Space Agency,  Johann-Dietrich Woerner