Parliament wants to raise funding for the EU Space Programme to €15.02 billion
- €9.7 billion for Galileo and EGNOS, the EU's global and regional satellite navigation systems
- €6.0 billion for Copernicus, the EU's Earth observation programme
- €1.2 billion for SSA and GOVSATCOM
- Fostering a strong and innovative space industry
MEPs supported the ITRE Committee proposal for a total budget allocation of €15.02 billion (2018 prices) to finance space activities during the 2021-2027 period.
In order to help maintain, and further enhance, the EU's leadership in the field, Parliament raised the Commission’s proposed budget to the EU Space Programme, with €821 million in 2018 prices (€925 million in current prices) to €15.02 billion in 2018 prices (16.93 in current prices) during 2021-2027. MEPs are convinced that this will give an important boost to EU industry in the field of space and decided to include tackling cyber threats and supporting space diplomacy to the scope.
Rapporteur Massimiliano Salini (EPP, IT) said: “Space-based services and applications are shaping the current and future well-being, safety and security of European citizens, as well as the competitiveness of its industrial base. It is therefore crucial to foster the Space economy so that all Member States, their citizens and their industries, can fully reap the benefits of this Space Programme. The new Space Programme bets on Europe and aims at strengthening its global leadership in the domains of Earth observation, navigation and technological research. Although Europe is currently the second space power in the world, we need to foster an ever-greater cooperation between the excellences in the various Member States if we want this to keep our leadership. In an increasingly uncertain geopolitical environment, investing in space must remain an institutional priority to preserve Europe’s competitiveness, sustainability and autonomy in this strategic domain in the future.”
Boosting Galileo and Copernicus
MEPs agreed that €9.7 billion in current prices, will be allocated to Galileo and EGNOS, the EU’s global and regional satellite navigation systems, €6.0 billion will be allocated to Copernicus, the EU’s Earth Observation programme, and €1.2 billion will be earmarked for to avoid risks linked to space debris through the Space and Situational Awareness (SSA) programme and to provide safe communications through the new Governmental Satellite Communication initiative (GOVSATCOM).
Securing EU leadership in space activities
Today, the EU's space sector employs over 231 000 people and its value was estimated at €53-62 billion in 2017. In this regard, MEPs agreed that the new programme aims to continue investing in EU space activities, to secure EU leadership in space activities, foster innovative industries, safeguard autonomous access to space and simplify governance foster technical progress (e.g. high performance computing) and support the competitiveness and innovation of the European space industry, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.
MEPs believe that the space programme should change the name of the current European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) Agency to the European Union Agency for the Space Programme and give it more tasks and resources.
The proposal for the EU Space Programme was approved by the European Parliament with 483 votes to 68, and 19 abstentions.
The European Parliament is now ready to start negotiations with EU member states. MEPs want a swift agreement on MFF-related files, in order to avoid the serious setbacks for the launch of the new programmes due to the late adoption, as experienced in the past.
Space technology is used for anything from communications to saving lives at sea and monitoring natural disasters. Therefore, 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. One third of all satellites in the world are manufactured in Europe. 29 satellites are currently in orbit and over 30 are planned in the next 10-15 years