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 Full text 
Tuesday, 7 June 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Space capabilities for European security and defence - Space market uptake - European space industrial policy (debate)

  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, we all see that the security environment is becoming increasingly dangerous and challenging, both within and outside the European Union. It is characterised by terrorists attacks, hybrid wars, mass murder and other challenges to our common security and defence affecting all Member States and to which all Member States of the European Union must respond by adopting a joint strategy and a coordinated response. These security challenges call for the strengthening of the European Union’s security through the continued development and support of the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy, in order to make it a more effective policy instrument and a real guarantee of the safety of EU citizens and the promotion and protection of European norms, interests and values, as enshrined in the Treaty on European Union.

Space capabilities in Europe – the satellites – could be used to better assess and identify the flow of illegal immigrants and their roots. In the case of those coming from North Africa, they could be used to identify the ship-boarding areas in order to engage with them faster and save more lives, to improve naval security and to support European Union missions abroad. The European Council of June 2015, which focused on defence, called for the fostering of greater and more systematic European defence cooperation, with a view to delivering key capabilities, including through the coherent and efficient use of EU funds and existing EU capabilities.

Space policy is an essential component of the strategic autonomy which the European Union must develop in order to safeguard sensitive technological and industrial capabilities and independent capabilities needed to carry out assessments. The references to financial implications for further development of the space capabilities in connection with the Common Security and Defence Policy should be maintained, as they are mainly about creating perspectives and not going against the provisions of the Treaty. The European Union/United States cooperation on future space-based capabilities and services for security and defence purposes is, in my opinion, mutually beneficial. Finally, I believe that in the long term the European Union must build its own instruments establishing a defence union in full complementarity with NATO.

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