Procedure : 2016/2731(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0739/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 07/06/2016 - 17
CRE 07/06/2016 - 17

Votes :

PV 08/06/2016 - 12.16
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on space market uptake (2016/2731(RSP))

Françoise Grossetête on behalf of the PPE Group
Constanze Krehl, Flavio Zanonato on behalf of the S&D Group
Evžen Tošenovský, Zdzisław Krasnodębski on behalf of the ECR Group
Cora van Nieuwenhuizen on behalf of the ALDE Group
Michel Reimon on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
David Borrelli, Isabella Adinolfi, Rolandas Paksas on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on space market uptake (2016/2731(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 189 of Title XIX of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 28 February 2013 entitled ‘EU space industrial policy’ (COM(2013)0108),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 4 April 2011 entitled ‘Towards a space strategy for the European Union that benefits its citizens’ (COM(2011)0152),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘European Cloud Initiative – Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe’ (COM(2016)0178),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 June 2010 on an Action Plan on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Applications (COM(2010)0308),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 512/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 setting up the European GNSS Agency(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the Copernicus Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 911/2010(2),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 setting up the European GNSS Agency, repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radio navigation programmes and amending Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(3),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1285/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 and Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2015/758 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 concerning type-approval requirements for the deployment of the eCall in-vehicle system based on the 112 service and amending Directive 2007/46/EC(5),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on tachographs in road transport, repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 on recording equipment in road transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport(6),

–  having regard to the relevant Council conclusions and to the ministerial ‘Declaration of Amsterdam’ of 14 April 2016 on cooperation in the field of connected and automated driving,

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution as adopted by the Committee on Foreign Affairs on 19 April 2016 on space capabilities for European security and defence (2015/2276(INI)),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 December 2013 on EU Space Industrial Policy, releasing the Potential for Growth in the Space Sector(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2012 on a space strategy for the European Union that benefits its citizens(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2011 on transport applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems – short- and medium-term EU policy(9),

–  having regard to the study of January 2016 on Space Market Uptake in Europe(10),

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas EU space activities are of major importance for scientific and technical progress, innovations, economic growth, industrial competitiveness, social cohesion, the creation of skilled jobs and enterprises, and new opportunities for both upstream and downstream markets;

B.  whereas satellite navigation, earth observation (EO) and satellite communication services could make a vital contribution to the implementation of a broad range of Union policies; whereas European citizens could benefit significantly from satellite navigation and EO services;

C.  whereas the implementation of space flagship programmes demonstrates the added value of cooperation at EU level; whereas the EU still lacks an integrated and coherent space policy;

D.  whereas autonomous access to space is of strategic importance for the EU; whereas highly reliable and accurate positioning and timing information and EO data are fundamental for strengthening European autonomy and whereas European GNSS and Copernicus programmes have a unique innovative approach to technology implementation; whereas the Union will invest more than EUR 11 billion in their infrastructure in the period up to 2020;

E.  whereas the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), which augments the GPS signal, is already operational and Galileo will soon launch its initial services; whereas Copernicus is operational, and its core services are already available to users and the data are freely accessible worldwide;

F.  whereas the technologies developed in the framework of space research have high cross-fertilisation and spin-off effects on other policy areas;

G.  whereas the connection of existing infrastructure in the domains of data storage, networking and high-performance computing in Europe is necessary for developing the capacity to process and store large volumes of satellite data and is therefore important for facilitating a strong and competitive European downstream EO industry;

H.  whereas in the next two decades European GNSS is expected to generate economic and social benefits worth around EUR 60-90 billion; whereas the annual turnover potential of the EO downstream services market to be reached by 2030 is estimated at around EUR 2.8 billion, of which more than 90 % should stem from Copernicus;

I.  whereas the uptake of downstream applications and services based on space data has so far been below expectations; whereas in order to fully exploit the potential of the space data market, both public and private demand needs to be stimulated and it is necessary to overcome market fragmentation and any technical, legislative and other obstacles to the functioning of the internal market in the area of space-based products and services;

J.  whereas the Commission announced in its Work Programme for 2016 the intention to present a ‘Space Strategy for Europe’ and launched a public consultation in April 2016; whereas this resolution will provide input to the strategy;

Space strategy and market uptake

1.  Encourages the Commission to present a comprehensive, ambitious and forward-looking strategy, ensuring in the short, medium and long term Europe’s leading position in space technologies and services on global markets, ensuring independent access to space for Europe and ensuring a level playing field for the European space industry;

2.  Believes that one of the main elements of the strategy should be market uptake of space data, services and applications to maximise the socio-economic benefits of EU space programmes;

3.  Calls on the Commission to present a proposal for a clear European space industrial policy as part of the upcoming strategy;

4.  Highlights the fact that the future development of EU space programmes should be user-oriented and driven by public, private and scientific users’ needs;

5.  Acknowledges the broad range of stakeholders involved in implementing EU space policy, particularly the Commission, the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), Copernicus service providers (Eumetsat, the European Environment Agency, the European Maritime Safety Agency, Frontex, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the Joint Research Centre, Mercator Ocean), the Member States and industry; encourages them to further foster their cooperation, namely between the EU and the ESA; calls on the Commission to play a major role in developing the capabilities of European industry to improve data access, market uptake and competitiveness in the worldwide market;

6.  Underlines the need for a simplified institutional landscape for EU space activities to facilitate both public and private user uptake; asks the Commission to address this need in its strategy and to propose clear definitions of the roles of the different actors;

7.  Stresses the importance of the regional dimension; supports increased involvement of regional and local authorities in successful EU space policy; insists on the need to coordinate local initiatives at national level to avoid duplication between the Commission and Member States;

Technical barriers

8.  Welcomes the progress made in respect of both space flagship programmes, Galileo and Copernicus; believes that they should be considered as complementary programmes and that further synergies should be encouraged; urges the Commission to fulfil the timeline and to ensure fast and full operation of space and ground infrastructure and services provided by both flagship programmes; believes that avoiding further delays is key to maintaining the trust of the private sector; reiterates the global market opportunities of European GNSS linked with the extension of EGNOS coverage to south-eastern and eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East;

9.  Supports the development of integrated applications using both EGNOS/Galileo and Copernicus;

10.  Considers that Copernicus data dissemination is too fragmented and that an EU approach is essential in order for European industry to take advantage thereof; underlines the fact that improved access to Copernicus EO data is a precondition for the development of a strong downstream industry sector; emphasises in particular the need for faster access to large sets of EO data, such as time series;

11.  Urges the Commission to ensure that Copernicus data are made available to independent ICT platforms, which would allow the storage, management, processing of and easy access to big data, and would make it easier to integrate data sets from as many sources as possible and bring them to the user; believes that such platforms should:

•  aggregate demand, helping to overcome the current fragmentation and create an internal EO data market without the need for regulatory measures;

•  guarantee open and non-discriminatory access to users;

•  enable industry to provide whatever services they deem fit through the platforms;

•  be complementary with other efforts by Member States, the ESA, industry and the Open Science Cloud;


12.  Recommends also that the Commission work closely with the Member States and the ESA on the creation of a properly integrated infrastructure system, with appropriate levels of data security;

13.  Highlights the fact that, without Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers, Galileo market uptake will be severely hampered; welcomes, therefore, the amount set aside in the European GNSS budget for the ‘Fundamental Elements’ funding programme, which is managed by the GSA, to support their development; urges the Commission to examine in the mid-term review whether this amount should be increased;

14.  Calls on the GSA to continue to work with chipset and receiver manufacturers in order to understand their needs and to provide them with the necessary technical information and specifications to ensure that as much user equipment as possible is compatible with Galileo; believes that industry needs should be incorporated into the programme evolution process so that the system continues to meet market needs; invites the Commission to ensure that Galileo is included by industry as one of the reference constellations for multi-constellation receivers;

15.  Recalls that Galileo will have ‘differentiators’, that is, certain advantages not provided by other GNSS constellations, such as open service authentication and the very high precision and reliability of the commercial service; stresses that it is essential for these differentiators to be made available as soon as possible to help ensure that Galileo becomes a reference constellation and that advantages over its competitors can be promoted;

16.  Stresses the importance of ensuring that the necessary technical standards are in place to allow space data and services to be used; urges the Commission to set up thematic working groups with Member State experts in order to establish such standards;

Market barriers

17.  Considers that public sector activities, including those of entrusted European agencies, should be predictable in order to stimulate private sector investments; believes in the principle that future space services should be mainly provided by, and procured from, commercial enterprises unless there is a good reason not to do so, for example, because of tangible security risks; suggests that the mid-term evaluation of the Copernicus and Galileo regulations should be used to ensure a greater involvement of the private sector in the procurement of services;

18.  Urges the Commission, in relation to Copernicus data, to clearly define as soon as possible the role of the core public services (what products they provide within the open and free access policy, the procedures by which new products can be added) and what should be left to the downstream sector; invites the Commission to assess needs for very high resolution EO data for EU internal operational purposes; believes that such data should be procured from European commercial providers in order to put European industry in a strong position allowing it to sell on commercial markets worldwide; urges the Commission also to take measures to facilitate the procurement of space-based services by public authorities, including by encouraging pre-commercial procurement, in particular to support innovative SMEs;

19.  Calls for efforts to be stepped up to raise awareness of the potential of European space programmes amongst the public and private sector and end users and to encourage the use of space data in the public sector and in the business community; believes that a user-driven, problem-solving approach, where policy needs are matched with relevant operational satellite-based services, can be effective; recommends that the Commission encourage exchanges of best practices, such as the UK Space for Smarter Government Programme; considers that the Commission can play an important role in compiling public sector needs and helping to generate user demand;

20.  Appreciates various awareness-raising activities provided by the Commission, the GSA, the ESA, Copernicus service providers, national space agencies and other stakeholders; highlights as successful examples of best practice the Annual Conferences on European Space Policy, European Space Solutions conferences, Space Days, the European Space Expo, the Galileo Drawing Competition, the European Satellite Navigation Competition and the Copernicus Masters;

21.  Believes that more efforts should be made to promote and market the Copernicus programme;

22.  Encourages the GSA to continue its efforts in the area of promoting and marketing Galileo and EGNOS and providing information on users’ needs and developments on the satellite navigation market;

23.  Considers that the Commission should involve the network of regional Europe Direct centres in the Member States in spreading awareness of the advantages of space data from Copernicus and Galileo and also support public authorities in establishing their needs;

Space in EU policies

24.  Recommends that the Commission and the Member States ensure that the infrastructure of the European space programmes and their services are used in related policies and programmes; considers that the Commission should strengthen the links between EU space assets and activities in policy areas such as the internal market, industrial base, jobs, growth, investment, energy, climate, environment, health, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, transport, tourism, the digital single market, regional policy and local planning; believes that there is a huge potential in tackling challenges such as migration, border management and sustainable development;

25.  Presses, therefore, for the Commission to carry out a ‘space check’ on all existing and new policy initiatives, to make sure that the best use is made of EU space assets; urges the Commission to review existing EU legislation to assess whether any changes are necessary to stimulate the use of satellite data and services (GNSS, EO, telecommunications), to provide socio-economic and other benefits and to carry out a ‘space check’ of all new legislation;

26.  Encourages the Commission to investigate opportunities for deploying European GNSS and Copernicus in the Union’s neighbourhood and development policy and in negotiations on cooperation with non-EU countries and international organisations;

27.  Underlines the critical importance of European GNSS data for increased safety and efficient use of intelligent transport and traffic management systems; points to the eCall and digital tachograph regulations, which will help promote the adoption of Galileo and EGNOS; encourages the Commission to address other relevant application areas with benefits for EU citizens’ safety and security such as emergency call/message location; invites the Commission to take legislative measures in this respect to ensure the compatibility of GNSS chipsets with Galileo/EGNOS, in particular in the field of civil aviation and critical infrastructures;

28.  Emphasises the fact that space data and services can play an essential role in allowing Europe to take a lead in major technological trends such as the internet of things, smart cities, big data and connected/autonomous vehicles; welcomes in this regard the ‘Declaration of Amsterdam’ highlighting the role of Galileo and EGNOS;

Access to finance and expertise

29.  Stresses the need to strengthen funding for development of downstream applications and services and the downstream market in general; invites the Commission, at the time of the next MFF, to examine the desirability of setting aside for this purpose a greater proportion of the EU space budget;

30.  Stresses that the EU has a wide range of access to finance opportunities at its disposal to support the downstream space sector (Horizon 2020, ESIF, COSME, EFSI, etc.); urges the Commission to use these instruments in a coordinated and focused manner and, including by facilitating advisory and outreach services; encourages the Commission also to introduce innovative and flexible financing mechanisms and to address the insufficient availability of venture capital; highlights the need to pay particular attention to simplified access to finance for European start-ups, micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises particularly with a view to helping them succeed in the early phases of commercialisation;

31.  Urges the Commission to promote the internationalisation of space companies, including SMEs, through better access to finance and adequate support for the European space industry’s competitiveness, and also through dedicated EU action allowing Europe’s independent access to space;

32.  Recommends that there should be a stronger link between R&D and support to business development programmes; considers in particular that the innovation potential of Horizon 2020 should be better exploited for the space sector; calls for an appropriate dissemination strategy for the space-related research outcomes of Horizon 2020 to the business community and believes that it is necessary to promote closer collaboration between universities and private companies for developing applications and services;

33.  Is convinced that space industry clusters, incubators and similar initiatives help underpin market uptake, stimulate innovation and promote synergies between space and ICT and other sectors of the economy; welcomes the efforts of certain Member States in this field and also the ESA business incubation centres; believes that the Commission should build on those efforts to develop a coherent EU strategy to support space entrepreneurship and develop the means to link these with the wider economy; calls on the Commission to help to correct the geographical imbalance of such activities in which the Central and Eastern European countries are lagging behind; underlines the need to strengthen cooperation and exchange of information and best practices and the sharing of infrastructure capabilities;

34.  Considers that the EU and the Member States should, in cooperation with the private sector, step up their efforts to stimulate skills and entrepreneurship and to attract students of technical universities, young scientists and entrepreneurs towards the space sector; believes that this will help to maintain a leading space science capacity and to prevent a brain drain of highly educated and skilled experts to other parts of the world;

35.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.


  OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, p. 72.


  OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 44.


  OJ L 276, 20.10.2010, p. 11.


  OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


  OJ L 123, 19.5.2015, p. 77.


  OJ L 60, 28.2.2014, p. 1.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0534.


OJ C 227E, 6.8.2013, p. 16.


OJ C 380E, 11.12.2012, p. 1.


  Space Market Uptake in Europe, Study for the ITRE Committee, Directorate-General for Internal Policies, Policy Department A, 2016, ISBN 978-92-823-8537-1.

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