Picture from the ISS symbolizing the key technology of space travel; Source: ESA/NASA

© ESA/NASA

At today’s tenth Space Council meeting, the EU ministers in charge of space policy are discussing ways in which Europe can help establish key principles for the global space industry.

Said Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier: “The German and European space industries are especially reliant on free global markets and a fair policy environment. More than ever, the space industry is internationally interconnected and characterised by strong mutual dependencies. This is why the German Presidency of the Council of the EU is laying the basis for a successful global positioning of the European space industry by taking the initiative for defining key principles for the global space economy.”

The initiative sends a clear message to the European space industry. The aim is to put in place fair and transparent competition, multilateral rules for space traffic control, and innovative financing mechanisms. This should also help keep the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the space industry as limited as possible whilst preparing the sector for the post-crisis period. The conclusions made by the Council are to include many specific proposals for programmatic, political and regulatory activities that can be picked up on by future presidencies and developed further to the benefit of all stakeholders involved.

Before the Space Council meeting, the issue will also be discussed by the ministers in charge of space policy during their video conference. The German Presidency of the Council of the EU put Europe’s role in the global space economy on the agenda of EU space policy to be discussed in the space section of the EU Competitiveness Council. The objective is to strengthen commercial and market-driven approaches and better position Europe in the relevant international bodies and debates.

The tenth Space Council is based on the EU-ESA framework agreement and serves the purpose of steering European Space Policy by formulating guidance and recommendations. These are then adopted by the EU Council and the ESA Council at ministerial level in separate, but identically worded texts.