Commitments confirmed at the Space Conference in Brussels
After the recent launch of the first Galileo satellites – an event of paramount political importance for Europe – politicians, policymakers, space agency managers, industrialists, satellite operators and members of civil society gathered at the European Parliament in Brussels on 8–9 November for the 4th Conference on EU Space Policy. The Conference, devoted to the benefits of space to citizens and society, confirmed that space is high on Europe’s political agenda by including European authorities of the highest level.
Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, confirmed the importance of Galileo and the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative as the EU’s two flagship programmes.
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, noted that, with the launch of the first two Galileo navigation satellites on 21 October, Europe had taken a step of critical importance for the competitiveness of its industry and for Europe’s independence in space technology.
Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA, highlighted the fact that Europe’s leadership is not linked to security and defence drivers, and reaffirmed the importance of having GMES and Galileo included in the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014–20.
Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, stressed the political importance of the Galileo launch and the need to respect the deadlines and further reduce costs. The main objective of space policy is to benefit Europe’s citizens. He considered that the space sector is at the “heart of the third industrial revolution”.