Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (right) and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire (left).

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (right) and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire (left).

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

Yesterday, Minister Altmaier and Minister Le Maire discussed European space policy matters in a bilateral meeting in Berlin. The Ministers agreed that industry and services in the space sector are key for European competitiveness and a prerequisite for strategic capabilities. Independent European access to space, based on a technology-open approach within European companies, has to be maintained and strengthened.

For this reason, Germany and France are determined to successfully conclude the Ariane 6 project while at the same time calling upon industry to reap efficiency gains and to become more competitive. In addition, the further development and industrial implementation of micro-launchers is crucial. Cooperation between European corporations in this field has to be market driven. France and Germany will promote cooperation in this field.

Both Ministers agreed that the European space sector needs to maintain the intensity of innovation at a high level. This implies, in addition to public support and commitment, an increase in private sector financing of space activities.

The ministers decided to appoint a high-level working group that is to pinpoint ways for strengthening competitiveness, market-driven activities, and efficiency. The group is to focus on the future of European launch systems. Moreover, the group should contribute to reaching common European positions in space policy to keep and develop the prominent role of Europe in shaping the regulatory framework. The group should deliver a report with political recommendations based on analytical work by mid 2021.