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REPORT     
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6 December 2001
PE 309.051 A5-0451/2001
on the Commission communication to the Council and the European Parliament on Europe and Space: Turning to a new chapter
(COM(2000) 597 – C5-0146/2001 – 2001/2072(COS))
Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy
Rapporteur: Konstantinos Alyssandrakis
PROCEDURAL PAGE
 MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL POLICY, TRANSPORT AND TOURISM
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, HUMAN RIGHTS, COMMON SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY

PROCEDURAL PAGE

By letter of 28 September 2000, the Commission forwarded to Parliament a communication to the Council and the European Parliament on Europe and Space: Turning to a new chapter (COM(2000) 597 – 2001/2072(COS)).

At the sitting of 2 May 2001 the President of Parliament announced that she had referred the communication to the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy as the committee responsible and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism for their opinions (C5-0146/2001).

The Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy appointed Konstantinos Alyssandrakis rapporteur at its meeting of 7 November 2000.

It considered the Commission communication and the draft report at its meetings of 10 October 2001, 5 November 2001 and 21 November 20001.

At the last meeting it adopted the motion for a resolution unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Carlos Westendorp y Cabeza, chairman; Renato Brunetta and Peter Michael Mombaur, vice-chairmen; Konstantinos Alyssandrakis, rapporteur; Giles Bryan Chichester, Nicholas Clegg, Willy C.E.H. De Clercq, Harlem Désir, Concepció Ferrer, Colette Flesch, Christos Folias, Glyn Ford, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Norbert Glante, Michel Hansenne, Roger Helmer, Philippe A.R. Herzog (for Fausto Bertinotti), Hans Karlsson, Bashir Khanbhai (for Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl), Werner Langen, Eryl Margaret McNally, Erika Mann, Marjo Matikainen-Kallström, Efstratios Korakas (for Luisa Morgantini, pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Dimitrios Koulourianos (for Ilka Schröder), Angelika Niebler, Reino Paasilinna, Yves Piétrasanta, Elly Plooij-van Gorsel, John Purvis, Alexander Radwan (for Konrad K. Schwaiger), Imelda Mary Read, Christian Foldberg Rovsing, Paul Rübig, Gilles Savary (for François Zimeray), Esko Olavi Seppänen, Claude Turmes (for Nelly Maes), Jaime Valdivielso de Cué, W.G. van Velzen, Dominique Vlasto, Anders Wijkman, Myrsini Zorba.

The opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy and the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism are attached; the Committee on Budgets decided on 29 May 2001 not to deliver an opinion, and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy decided on 11 April 2001 not to deliver an opinion.

The report was tabled on 6 December 2001.

The deadline for tabling amendments will be indicated in the draft agenda for the relevant part-session.


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

European Parliament resolution on the Commission communication to the Council and the European Parliament on Europe and Space: Turning to a new chapter (COM(2000) 597 – C5-0146/2001 – 2001/2072(COS))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Communication of the Commission (COM(2000) 597 – C5-0146/2001- 2001/2072(COS)),

–   having regard to the EU Action Plan: satellite communications in the Information Society, COM(97)91 final, 5 March 1997,

–   having regard to the Council resolution of 22 June 1998(1), on the synergy between the European Space Agency and the European Community,

–   having regard to the Council resolution of 2 December 1999(2) on developing a coherent European space strategy,

–   having regard to the Council resolution of 16 November 2000(3) on European Space Strategy,

–   having regard to its resolution of 25 April 1979 on Community participation in space research(4),

–   having regard to its resolution of 17 September 1981 on European space policy(5),

–   having regard to its resolution of 17 June 1987 on European space policy(6),

–   having regard to its resolution of 22 October 1991 on European space policy(7),

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 May 1994 on the Community and space(8),

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 January 1998 on The European Union and space(9),

–   having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2000 on the communication of the Commission on the Commission working document 'Towards a coherent European approach for space' (SEC(1999)789-C5-0336/1999 - 1999/2213(COS))(10),

–   having regard to the report by Carl Bildt, Jean Peyrelevade and Lothar Späth to the Director-General of the European Space Agency of 20 November 2000 entitled 'Towards a space agency for the European Union'(11),

–   having regard to article 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Eenergy and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy and the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism (A5-0451/2001),

A.   whereas space research and applications have not only provided new knowledge, but have also had tremendous benefits in our daily lives,

B.   whereas space provides a unique platform for scientific research, communications, global navigation and positioning, earth monitoring, and also for military activities,

C.   whereas satellite communications are the main source of revenue in the commercial spatial sector,

D.   whereas satellite applications in the field of electronic communications are both pan-European and broadband,

E.   whereas it is vital to develop further the use of space for purposes of general interest and public service,

F.   whereas international cooperation is essential for space research and the development of applications,

G.   whereas member states of the European Union have made outstanding contributions in space research and applications, as well as in the development of spacecraft and launchers,

H.   whereas the European Space Agency (ESA) has functioned efficiently as a body for intergovernmental coordination and has played a leading role in space research and applications both in Europe and worldwide,

1.   emphasizes that space activities should be intended only for peaceful purposes;

2.   welcomes the drafting of a coherent European strategy for space and emphasises the importance of close and effective cooperation between the Commission and the European Space Agency on this initiative;

3.   expresses its support for the three lines of action proposed in the Commission document - 'Strengthening the foundation for space activities', 'Enhancing scientific knowledge' and 'Reaping the benefits for markets and society' - on the basis of benefits for research, industry and society as a whole;

4.   emphasises the need to develop further the technological basis of space activities, in particular launchers and vehicles, on the basis of an openly declared ambition for European independence and the will to retain a high level of technological capabilities which will require substantial and sustained public support for space development in the various forms we see in our competitors: dual programmes, massive research aid, completion of the internal market, public funding of infrastructure, with the objective of reaping the benefits for markets and societies through a demand-driven exploitation of the technical capabilities of the space community;

5.   calls for the application of the Single Market principles of non-discrimination and proportionality for the use of radio spectrum which has been harmonised at ITU (International Union Telecom) and/or CEPT (Conférence européenne des postes et télécoms) levels as regulatory constraints are still imposed on systems providing satellite communications in Europe;

6.   calls for a detailed study of Europe’s competitive situation in respect of space, in particular clarifying the direct or indirect contribution of states to the funding and development of space programmes throughout the world;

7.   calls on the Member States and the Commission to do all in their power in their respective spheres of competence to impose strict reciprocity on the United States in respect of non-tariff protection and indirect aid to the space industry, in particular in respect of launchers; is concerned in particular about the prior government authorisation procedures required in the United States for launching satellites;

8.   expresses its strong support for the pursue of cutting-edge themes of space science, as outlined in the Commission document, as well as for the exploitation of the International Space Station and other space-based scientific activities;

9.   supports the development of a satellite system for global environment monitoring;

10.   calls on the industry to develop further services to make possible the commercial as well as the traditional uses of space;

11.   identifies protection and management of the space and terrestrial environment as a major policy goal for the future;

12.   notes that the Galileo project will form part of the European strategy put forward by the Commission, reiterates Galileo’s importance for transport, and emphasises the importance of Galileo’s compatibility with GPS and Glonass;

13.   emphasises the importance for global security in general, and European security in particular, of the GPMS project, and considers that its development should go hand in hand with that of Galileo;

14.   supports the ever closer cooperation between the ESA and the EU, but believes that the ESA with its basis of intergovernmental cooperation should in the longer term be brought within the EU, while retaining its autonomy; welcomes the creation of a joint task force by the Commission and the ESA, which will draft proposals for framework agreements for the management of joint projects;

15.   urges the further development of international collaboration in space activities, in particular with the Russian Federation, the USA, China and Japan, but also with less developed countries for which the European Union could provide affordable access to space, and asks the Commission to arrange a conference to explore the possibilities of such co-operative ventures with representatives of the above four space powers, covering scientific, technological, industrial or economic aspects, such as the new international orbiting space station;

16.   welcomes the fact that space research forms a major part of one of the priority thematic domains in the Commission proposal for the 6th Framework Programme for research and technological development;

17.   calls for new initiatives in the field of the training of space scientists and engineers;

18.   draws attention to the special problems for space researchers arising from professional mobility because of the geographical location of certain types of major installation necessary for space research, including those in third countries;

19.   instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States and the European Space Agency.

(1)OJ C 224, 17.7.1998, p. 1.
(2)OJ C 375, 24.12.1999, p. 1.
(3)OJ C 371/2, 23.12.2000, p. 2.
(4)OJ C 127, 21.5.1979, p. 32.
(5)OJ C 260, 12.10.1981, p. 102.
(6)OJ C 190, 20.7.1987, p. 78.
(7)OJ C 305, 25.11.1991, p. 26.
(8)OJ C 205, 25.7.1994, p. 467.
(9)OJ C 34, 2.2.1998, p. 27.
(10)OJ C 59, 23.2.2001, p. 248.
(11)http://ravel.esrin.esa.it/docs/annex2_wisemen.pdf


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

1.   Background

The European Council, the European Commission, as well as the European Parliament have discussed questions of space policy on a number of occasions in the past. The emphasis has been not only on what space based activities can provide in general, but mostly on what actions would be required so that the European Union as an entity could make efficient use of space in implementing its policies.

An important actor in the international scene of space-related activities is the European Space Agency (ESA), which has played a critical role in fostering cooperation between European countries in space exploration, space applications and the development of space based research. It was therefore quite natural for the EU to exploit the possibilities offered by ESA.

The Council took an important step in this direction with its resolution of 22 June 1998(1), in which it called on the Commission to take practical measures to promote cooperation between the European Union and the ESA. In response, the Commission prepared a working document entitled 'Towards a coherent European approach for space'. The European Parliament, in its resolution of 18 May 2000, welcomed the Commission's intention of establishing a policy framework for future space programmes, expressing the view that this framework "must be developed after extensive and in-depth consultations between all the parties involved in the scientific, technical, industrial, commercial and political sectors, together with the national agencies". The Parliament also expressed "its strong desire to see space used for peaceful purposes for the benefit of mankind as a whole" and called for “a more balanced approach to space by strongly supporting both the scientific and practical use of space research”. It also made a series of detailed recommendations concerning such matters as the training of scientists and engineers, international cooperation, launch systems, its support for the GALILEO satellite navigation system, the need for equilibrium between space communications systems and other contemporary technologies, and the need to avoid hindering scientific activities such as radio astronomy research.

A further step in this direction was the European Council decision of December 1999, as well as the Resolution of the ESA Council at Ministerial level of May 1999, which called on the European Commission and the Executive of the European Space Agency to elaborate a coherent European Strategy for Space. As a result, a joint Commission – ESA document on a European strategy for space was produced, and this document is included in full in the Commission’s communication that we are considering here. Moreover, in its resolution of 16 November 2000, the Council requested the Commission "to set up, as soon as possible, in cooperation with the ESA and by the end of 2000 at the latest, a joint high-level Task Force involving the Commission and the ESA Executive” in order to “develop further the European space strategy and produce proposals for its implementation".Finally, it is important to mention here that Aeronautics and Space figures among the seven priority thematic areas in the Commission proposal for the 6th Framework Program for research and technological development.

After several years of discussion, we are now at the point of making concrete decisions on the best way to proceed for the development of a space policy, not at the level of member states, but at the level of the Union. Its is therefore necessary for the parliament to consider its position carefully in the light of the ideas under discussion on the future of the European Space policy.

2.   Lines of action

The Commission document proposes three lines of action, to which the Council expressed its agreement in its resolution of 16 November 2000.

Strengthening the foundation for space activities: preserving independent and affordable access to space, and ensuring a broad technology base with the industrial capability for designing, manufacturing, and operating satellite systems and the associated ground infrastructure.
Enhancing scientific knowledge for a better understanding of our planet and its atmosphere, the solar system and the Universe.
Reaping the benefits for markets and society through a demand-driven exploitation of the technical capabilities of the space community.

The first line of action is a prerequisite for any space activity. The joint Commission – ESA document notes that “Considering the investment gap between the European space sector and its competitors in space systems and terrestrial solutions, a strong and innovative approach to space technology must be adopted” and proposes three different but co-ordinated activities:

development of basic technologies, to be pursued essentially with public support;
early demonstration of developed technologies through pilot projects and validation activities, in which the public sector and commercial operators jointly participate; and
development of applications and services to be driven by market considerations and user demand.

The document emphasises that “European launchers have to maintain a competitive position in the world market for launch services, which is constantly and rapidly evolving”.

The importance of developing the second line of action, enhancing the scientific knowledge, lies on the fact that space provides unique means of exploring the solar system and the universe and also provides a constant flow of readily comparable global data for the understanding of our planet and its atmosphere. The Commission and ESA point out that “It is therefore important for Europe to pursue cutting-edge themes of space science, and space-based contributions to the understanding of the climate and our planet”, such as the behaviour of our Sun and its influence on the Earth, the origins and evolution of the solar system, the origin and evolution of stars etc. At the same time, of growing importance is the investigation of the phenomena of global change and all major Earth-sciences themes: Earth’s interior, its physical climate, its geosphere/biosphere, the atmosphere and the marine environment, and their impact on mankind.

In reference to manned exploration of space, the Commission and ESA note that Europe should concentrate on optimising use of the International Space Station (ISS) as a European research infrastructure for all disciplines in space science and as a powerful educational tool and a test bed for the “next step” in human space exploration.

The third line of action, reaping the benefits for markets and society, forms the core of the joint Commission – ESA document. Satellite communications, space based navigation (in particular the GALILEO project), monitoring of the environment, as well as the Common European Security and Defence Policy aspects comprise this line of action.

Although satellite communications constitute the largest single source of revenues in the commercial space sector, the document notes that the success of the satellite sector is fragile.

The GALILEO project is considered fundamental for the EU, however, since it is the subject of specific discussion in the Parliament, we will not deal with it in detail in this report.

Monitoring of the environment is the second, after GALILEO, big project at the EU level. Space-based information provides a powerful platform to develop monitoring of both environment and security concerns and to support analysis of individual issues and their inter-relationships. According to the document, three concrete themes for initiating the practical aspects of the development of such an initiative have been identified:

global change,
environmental stress, and
natural and man-made disasters.

The joint document associates global monitoring with the Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP): "To meet the CESDP objectives, the EU should be able to call on a range of military (initially established by the WEU) and civil (established by the EU) means for intelligence gathering and crisis management”.

3.   Implementation

The implementation of the above mentioned, as well as of future projects, will require either the establishment by the E.U. of a space agency of its own, or a close collaboration with ESA. The second approach has obvious advantages, since the E.U. will benefit from existing structures and expertise, and is the approach adopted in the joint Commission-ESA document. The communication also speaks of the creation of the joint task force referred to in the Council Resolution of 16 November 2000, and of its mandate to propose "permanent arrangements" before the end of 2001.

The question of the future of ESA and its relations with the E.U. has been the subject of a report by a group of high level persons, called by the director general of ESA in March 2000. The group consisted of Carl Bildt (chairman, former prime minister of Sweden), Jean Peyrelevade (President of Credit Lyonnais) and Lothar Späth (CEO of JENOPTIK AG and former prime minister of Baden-Württembrg); the report was presented on 20 November 2000 and will be referred to here as the "Bildt Report". The Bildt Report sets four main objectives:

1.   The European Council should define the European Space Policy and the guidelines for its implementation, every five years;

2.   ESA should be the space agency of Europe;

3.   The European Commission should define the regulatory framework under which space activities are conducted; it should also be a contributor to ESA programmes and, as such, a member of the ESA Council;

4.   "The European Parliament should be given the opportunity to regularly discuss and review the European Space Policy".

Going back to the joint document, it considers further the industrial aspects of space policy. It points out that “through the creation of large space companies, European industry is consolidating to face the challenge of the US industrial giants in this sector”, while “SMEs require special attention, as they play a key role in fostering innovation”. Public Private Partnerships are singled out as providing “one model that can help in committing the public sector as well as the complete industrial chain to an operational project”.

Finally, the Commission document discusses international aspects, in which it includes co-operative scientific space missions, international trade aspects and co-ordination of a European position with respect to the United Nations. It points out that “the association of Canada to ESA, the EU-Russia Dialogue on Space and the longstanding co-operation with the USA in space science and the International Space Station are specific examples of special relations with third countries that need to be reflected in determining the most efficient way to embrace space in the EU policies for international co-operation”. This is in line with the Parliament resolution of 18 May 2000, which urged the Commission and the Council to “step up still further cooperation between the E.U. and other countries.

It should be mentioned here that on 8 June 2001 a meeting on the cooperation of the E.U. and Russian space took place in Moscow, with the participation of members of the Russian Duma and the European Parliament, the Commission, ESA and the Russian space agency as well as representatives of enterprises from both sides. In the opinion of the rapporteur, there is ample ground for cooperation that will benefit both sides.

4.   The political issues

In preparing its resolution on the future of European space policy, the European Parliament will certainly need to reflect long and hard on the decision making process in space policy, and on the implications of the measures now being discussed. It will need to raise the important question of the legal bases on which future European space policy will rest.

The rapporteur wishes to single out two the major issues raised by the communication which, in his opinion, deserve careful consideration:

4.1.   What form the collaboration of the E.U. with ESA will take?

The essence of the question is whether ESA will continue to exist in its present form, or it will become the space agency of the European Union. Although the absorption of ESA in the E.U. institutions will definitely provide advantages in the implementation of its policy, we should not forget that ESA has members that are not members of the E.U.

Another very important aspect is the orientation of ESA. If it becomes a E.U. institution, its orientation may shift towards practical application of space and basic research activities may not be as vigorously pursued as they are now, in spite of the emphasis given in the Commission report on enhancing the scientific knowledge.

Finally, we have to face the question whether the EU is ready to undertake the funding of ESA, which is now provided through the contribution of its member states.

4.2.   What should be the content of the GMES initiative?

Although the importance of space in monitoring of the environment is incontestable, the Commission document adds a “security” dimension that goes far beyond the prevention and/or detection of natural or man-made catastrophes. It has a clearly military aspect, involving intelligence gathering and observation, hence it will constitute a first step towards E.U. military activities from space.

(1)OJ C 224, 17.7.1998, p. 1.


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL POLICY, TRANSPORT AND TOURISM

30 April 2001

for the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy

on the Commission communication to the Council and the European Parliament on Europe and Space: turning to a new chapter

(COM(2000) 597 – C5-0146/2001 – 2001/2072 (COS))

Draftsman: Luís Queiró

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 21 November 2000 the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism appointed Luís Queiró draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 5 February and 25 April 2001.

At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions by 40 votes to 2, with 6 abstentions.

The following were present for the vote: Konstantinos Hatzidakis, chairman; Rijk van Dam and Emmanouil Mastorakis, vice-chairmen; Luís Queiró, draftsman; Sir Robert Atkins, Emmanouil Bakopoulos, Carlos Bautista Ojeda (for Reinhold Messner pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Rolf Berend, Philip Charles Bradbourn, Felipe Camisón Asensio, Gerard Collins, Danielle Darras, Garrelt Duin, Alain Esclopé, Giovanni Claudio Fava, Jacqueline Foster, Jean-Claude Fruteau (for John Hume), Robert Goodwill (for Ingo Schmitt), Mathieu J.H. Grosch, Ewa Hedkvist Petersen, Mary Honeyball, Marie Anne Isler Béguin (for Camilo Nogueira Román), Juan de Dios Izquierdo Collado, Georg Jarzembowski, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Giorgio Lisi, Sérgio Marques, Manuel Medina Ortega (for Joaquim Vairinhos pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Erik Meijer, Rosa Miguélez Ramos, Francesco Musotto, Juan Ojeda Sanz, Josu Ortuondo Larrea, Wilhelm Ernst Piecyk, Giovanni Pittella (for Demetrio Volcic), Samuli Pohjamo, Alonso José Puerta, Reinhard Rack, Carlos Ripoll i Martínez Bedoya, Isidoro Sánchez García, Gilles Savary, Dana Rosemary Scallon, Agnes Schierhuber (for Margie Sudre), Brian Simpson, Renate Sommer, Robert William Sturdy (for Karla M.H. Peijs pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Hannes Swoboda (for Ulrich Stockmann), Ari Vatanen, Christian Ulrik von Boetticher (for Francis Decourrière), and Mark Francis Watts.

BRIEF EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Europe and Space

Introduction

1.   The communication from the Commission to Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Europe and Space: turning to a new chapter’ is a follow-up to Parliament’s resolution of 18 May 2000 and the request by the EU-Research Council. In its resolution of 18 May 2000, Parliament welcomed the Commission’s working document entitled ‘Towards a coherent European approach for space’ and reiterated its support for the development of a global navigation satellite system with strong European participation (the Galileo system). The Commission working document was drawn up in response to the Council’s request to the Commission to draft a coherent European space strategy in close cooperation with the European Space Agency. This cooperation is also expected to be a key aspect in putting this strategy in place (COM(2000) 597 final).

2.   The current communication emphasises the importance for a European strategy of the role of satellites, both now and in the future, in communication systems, observation systems and navigation and positioning systems. Navigation and positioning systems are, of course, of great interest to transport and related services.

Impact/Measures to be considered

3.   The economic and social impact of implementing this strategy will be considerable. Current estimates for the turnover in 2002 of markets associated with satellites range from EUR 67 billion to EUR 104 bn. In this context, Galileo will be the cornerstone for European navigation and positioning systems. Galileo, a system of at least 20 satellites, will have applications including navigation systems, traffic- and fleet-management, tracking, surveillance and emergency intervention. Its total cost is estimated at EUR 3 bn. The deployment testing and validation phases of Galileo will be an integral part of the European space strategy. Your rapporteur would like to stress that Galileo, GPS (the American system) and Glonass (the Russian system) must be made compatible and interoperable, above all with regard to the frequencies used.

4.   The Commission communication does not put forward a detailed road map for programming space activities in the coming years. Instead, it plans to put in place the political and regulatory conditions needed and provide coordination and motivation. The Commission considers it essential to finalise an operational agreement with the European Space Agency with a view to working together in implementing this strategy. A joint task force is to be created, due to deliver its findings before December 2001. The task force will stimulate thinking on a possible unified setting for Member States to review the strategy and its implementation on a regular basis. It will draw up proposals for framework agreements for the management of joint projects.

Main points

5.   The Commission considers that space strategy is built around three main objectives:

-   strengthening the foundation for space activities;

-   enhancing scientific knowledge;

-   reaping the benefits for markets and society through a demand-driven exploitation of technical capabilities.

The third element is new, and should be facilitated by the general strategy and cooperation with the ESA.

6.   Monitoring and assessment of the measure will be carried out through an annual report on the state of progress of the implementation of the strategy with the ESA and the proposal of permanent arrangements enabling regular review of the strategy and its implementation.

CONCLUSIONS

7.   The Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following items in the motion for a resolution it adopts:

7.   1 Welcomes the drafting of a coherent European strategy for space and emphasises the importance of close and effective cooperation between the Commission and the European Space Agency on this initiative;

7.   2 Notes the objective of reaping the benefits for markets and societies through a demand-driven exploitation of the technical capabilities of the space community;

7.   3 Welcomes the creation of a joint task force by the Commission and the ESA, which will draft proposals for framework agreements for the management of joint projects;

7.   4 Hopes that Europe will give some thought to the role that could be played in space policy by cooperation programmes with other space powers covering scientific, technological, industrial or economic aspects, such as the new international orbiting space station;

7.   5 Hopes that the ESA/Commission task force will devote some thought, together with all the industrial bodies involved, to a European policy on launchers, in view of the market’s new requirements, the emergence of new space powers and current developments in the ranges of rival launchers;

7.   6 Notes that the Galileo project will form part of the European strategy put forward by the Commission, and reiterates Galileo’s importance for transport;

7.   7 Emphasises the importance for global security in general, and European security in particular, of the GPMS project, and considers that its development should go hand in hand with that of Galileo;

7.   8 Requests that Parliament be kept regularly informed of the progress made and, specifically, that it be sent the annual report on the state of progress of the implementation of the strategy with the ESA.

7.   9 Hopes that the current recasting of European space policy results in a White Paper, which should set out the key policy objectives to be put in place in the medium and long term;

8.   Emphasises the importance of Galileo’s compatibility with GPS and Glonass.


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, HUMAN RIGHTS, COMMON SECURITY AND DEFENCE POLICY

22 November 2001

for the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy

on the Commission communication to the Council and the European Parliament on Europe and Space: Turning to a new chapter

(COM(2000) 597 – C5-0146/2001 – 2001/2072 (COS))

Draftsman: Ioannis Souladakis

PROCEDURE

The Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy appointed Ioannis Souladakis draftsman at its meeting of 20 March 2001.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 5 November and 21 November 2001.

At the latter meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously, with 2 abstentions.

The following were present for the vote: Elmar Brok, chairman; Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, vice-chairman; Ioannis Souladakis, rapporteur; Alexandros Baltas, Gérard Caudron (for Rosa M. Díez González), Véronique De Keyser, Pere Esteve, Giovanni Claudio Fava (for Klaus Hänsch), Glyn Ford (for Linda McAvan, pursuant to Rule 153(2)), Michael Gahler, Jas Gawronski, Bertel Haarder, Efstratios Korakas,Hanja Maij-Weggen (for Arie M. Oostlander), Hugues Martin, Philippe Morillon, Pasqualina Napoletano, Raimon Obiols i Germà, José Pacheco Pereira, Doris Pack (for Alfred Gomolka), Jacques F. Poos, Jannis Sakellariou, Jacques Santer, Amalia Sartori, Jürgen Schröder, Elisabeth Schroedter, Ioannis Souladakis, Hannes Swoboda, Johan Van Hecke, Demetrio Volcic (for Magdalene Hoff), and Christos Zacharakis.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Remarks on the Commission Communication

1.   The Commission document links the strategy for space and the technical means for implementing this policy. The draftsman takes the view that this document should be simpler and address only the strategy and not the technical means for implementing it, which is the business of the space programme.

2.   The document under consideration, which was drawn up by the Commission together with the ESA, attaches limited importance to the use of space for international security and has three objectives:

-   'strengthening the foundation for space activities',

-   'enhancing scientific knowledge for a better understanding of our planet' and

-   ' reaping the benefits for markets and society'.

The draftsman would add a further point:

- to strengthen the implementation of CFSP in this field in order to establish a European presence in the use of space, especially after the tragic events of 11 September 2001.

3.   CFSP is covered only by the third objective of the strategy document, and is further limited in scope in the analysis of this objective, since CFSP is associated exclusively with the thematic area of global observation and global change, which ignores the fact that satellite telecommunications, navigation and positioning and information from satellite systems constitute a basic precondition for the development of European security and thus fall within the framework of CFSP. However, the same document acknowledges that space activities in Europe have so far been largely focused on the first two objectives and points out that the technical capabilities exist to meet all three.

4.   The limited attention paid to CFSP is due in all probability to the fact that:

- CFSP is still under development,
- the ESA which - owing to the task assigned to it - attaches greater importance to relations with research and industry, played a key role in drawing up this document.

5.   The draftsman takes the view that the most competent authority for satellite matters which raise security issues is the satellite centre of the WEU which from the beginning of 2002 will be a European Union agency. Owing to the present transitional period which runs until the end of 2001, this body has not been properly used to address issues falling within its sphere of competence. This applies both to the above document and to the joint Task Force.

6.   The draftsman believes the forthcoming report on European Space Policy should become the principal document on which the EU will base its planning of space activities. In its deliberations on setting out a clear European Space Policy, the EU should take account of the existing multiannual programmes of the UN's Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its Committee on Disarmament, as well as of the relevant experience of the WEU.

Towards a European Space Policy

7.   There have been too many individual national space projects, undertaken perhaps also for reasons of national prestige, which have been unable to develop the services the EU really needs. Europe needs a single but effective space capability for both civilian and security aspects but this requires sufficient investment in infrastructure, implementation and training.

8.   The willingness or capacity to involve third countries with space capacities of their own (e.g. India or China) in our space projects can only bring positive results, above all in terms of strengthening relations with those countries.

9.   The militarisation of space has a specific meaning which is subject to the prohibitions set out in the multilateral Outer Space Treaty (1966) and long-term customary practice. Under these arrangements, the use of satellites for military applications is permitted. The space component of NMD, however, is prohibited, since the bilateral US-Soviet ABM Treaty of 1972 bans space-based systems for defence against ballistic missiles in general (defence is only allowed from land-based systems). The USA wishes to use satellites not only for early warning (this to is banned specifically by the ABM Treaty, but not by the Outer Space Treaty), but also to intercept missiles. The EU's position on NMD is clearly correct but this has nothing to do with the use of satellite systems to discharge the Petersberg Tasks (conflict prevention/crisis management) in the EU.

10.   With the (imminent) integration of the WEU into the EU and the moves towards developing a CESDP, space capability can be extremely effective, for example, when decisions for the planning and monitoring of the Petersberg Tasks are being taken.

11.   The use of GMES for defence purposes is necessary to meet EU needs. As regards GALILEO, it is worth drawing attention to the view of last year's French Presidency, namely that the use of GALILEO for defence purposes could not be ruled out. The broad use of GPS in military applications so far (the Persian Gulf and Kosovo) has illustrated the great importance of satellite navigation in military operations. Moreover, one of the main arguments for developing GALILEO [see COM (1999) 54 final/European Commission/10 February 1999] is that the national sovereignty and security of European States cannot be made dependent on the military systems of other countries, such as the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS. The exclusive use of GALILEO for political or commercial purposes would invalidate the above reason for creating the system, since it would preserve the status quo – which the EU finds unacceptable – of dependency on foreign military systems.

12.   The EU needs to have an autonomous infrastructure (telecommunications/locating/ positioning/earth observation systems) in place for its own security, particularly in an emergency. This capability has to be endorsed by all Member States.

CONCLUSIONS

The Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy calls on the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following points in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Stresses that the EU needs to state clearly that the exploitation and use of outer space should be carried out for peaceful purposes only and in the interests of mankind;

2.   The activities of states in gaining access to and exploiting and using outer space should be carried out in accordance with international law;

3   Strongly believes that the non-proliferation of arms and avoiding an arms race in outer space should form the guiding principle of the EU's space policy;

4.   Is pleased to note the attention being paid in the Commission/ESA document under consideration to the need for future organisational arrangements to facilitate international cooperation and, while recognising the validity of collaboration with Russia and the U.S., also strongly encourages collaboration with non-EU countries with space capabilities, such as India, China and Brazil, which can bring increased economic benefits all round and strengthen our relations with those countries;

5.   Welcomes the fact that the EU recognises the importance of outer space but points out that without an appropriate, independent and reliable space capability, the EU could find it increasingly difficult to carry out some of its operations from the transportation of dangerous goods across continents to airline safety to the monitoring of humanitarian aid, the implementation of the Petersberg Tasks and to the implementation of its CFSP;

6.   Emphasises the need for the EU to increase funding for space research and space activities to adequate levels, so that Europe can have the high-quality, independent space capability to deal with its present and future needs;

7.   Stresses, therefore, the fact that space can play a key role in the implementation of CFSP; in this context, asks the Council and Commission to provide further clarification of the dual use (civilian-military) implications of the integration of the WEU Satellite Centre in the EU;

8.   Considers that if Europe wishes to play a key international role and produce notable achievements of its own in the space field, it should make a conscious decision to adapt its space development programmes to European needs and to Europe's position on the international stage;

9.   Recommends the integration of the WEU's existing space policy and that the conclusions of the relevant UN committees in Europe's Space Policy be taken into consideration in formulating the ESP, and recommends that a more thorough examination of how the EU can best cooperate with the European Space Agency, in the light of its current non(EU)-institutional and semi-private role, be undertaken;

10.   Believes firmly that the EU's space systems will become part of its 'heritage' and that the EU will have to maintain independent rights of access and operation in space with the normal functioning of space objects;

11.   Asks the EU to examine, with its international partners, the possibility of drafting a treaty to prohibit the existence of arms in outer space and to guarantee the protection of satellites. (The problem of the protection of satellites, the protection necessary for their smooth operation and the elaboration of an appropriate international code of conduct is of particular interest to the EU).

Last updated: 2 April 2002Legal notice