Space technology is used for anything from communications to saving lives at sea and monitoring natural disasters. Learn more about how the EU helps to make this possible in our infographic.
On 17 April, MEPs approved plans for establishing the EU's space programme and the European Union Agency for the space programme for 2021-27. The proposed €16 billion budget for this period covers programmes such as Galileo, Copernicus and Space Situational Awareness.
These space activities will also benefit people and businesses on earth.“A modern, safer, competitive, efficient, sustainable transport sector is deeply interconnected with the space sector," said Salini, an Italian member of the EPP group. "The navigation system and the earth observation improve the performance of transport services, that will produce many benefits at global and European level.
“A more efficient traffic management will reduce emissions and tackle the problem of climate change, an increased use of drones will improve delivery and postal services, better flight tracking will reduce flight cancellations and noise.”
Space technology is indispensable for a number of important services Europeans depend on and it can play a crucial role in effectively tackling new challenges such as climate change, border controls and helping to keep people living in the EU safe. However, not a single EU country has the capacities to reach for the stars alone.
“The new space programme bets on Europe and aims at strengthening its global leadership in the domains of Earth observation, navigation and technological research," said Salini. "Although Europe is currently the second space power in the world, we need to foster an ever-greater cooperation if we want this to keep our leadership. This becomes of major importance in a context where traditional space powers remain very active and, at the same time, new players who increasingly challenge the competitiveness of the European space sector come in."