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Procedure : 2008/2030(INI)
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Document selected : A6-0250/2008

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PV 09/07/2008 - 20
CRE 09/07/2008 - 20

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PV 10/07/2008 - 5.8
CRE 10/07/2008 - 5.8
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Texts adopted
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Thursday, 10 July 2008 - Strasbourg
Space and security

European Parliament resolution of 10 July 2008 on Space and security (2008/2030(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the European Security Strategy entitled "A secure Europe in a better world", adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003,

–   having regard to the EU Strategy against proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, likewise adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003,

–   having regard to Council resolution of 21 May 2007 on the European Space Policy(1),

–   having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the Treaty on European Union (TEU), as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon, and their relevant provisions on European space policy (Article 189 of the TFEU), permanent structured cooperation on security and defence matters (Articles 42(6) and 46 of the TEU and Protocol 10) and enhanced cooperation in the civilian area (Part Six, Title III of the TFEU), as well as the solidarity clause (Article 222 of the TFEU) and mutual assistance provisions in the event of armed aggression against a Member State or States (Article 42(7) of the TEU),

–   having regard to its resolution of 29 January 2004 on the action plan for implementing the European space policy(2),

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 April 2005 on the European Security Strategy(3),

–   having regard to the 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies ("the Outer Space Treaty"),

–   having regard to the EU-Russia cooperation on space policy, which in 2006 created the Tripartite Space Dialogue between the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos (the Russian Federal Space Agency),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A6-0250/2008),

A.   whereas freedom from space-based threats and secure sustainable access to, and use of, space must be the guiding principles of the European Space Policy,

B.   whereas the various political and security challenges which the European Union is increasingly facing make an autonomous European Space Policy a strategic necessity,

C.   whereas the lack of a common approach to space policy between EU Member States results in overly costly programmes,

D.   whereas the crisis management operations within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) suffer from a lack of interoperability between space assets operated by EU Member States,

E.   whereas the European Union is lacking a comprehensive European space-based architecture for security and defence purposes,

F.   whereas the development of a new generation of launchers takes approximately 15 years and the present generation of launchers will need replacing in the next 20 years,

G.   whereas development of space assets by the USA, Russia, Japan and other emerging space-faring states, most notably China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Israel, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey, is rapidly advancing,

H.   whereas the French Presidency of the European Union during the second semester of 2008 sets out an advancement of the European Space Policy as one of its priorities,

I.   whereas one of the most cost-effective elements of a space architecture and of achieving a sustainable fleet of space assets is on-orbit servicing, using in-situ means,

General considerations

1.  Notes the importance of the space dimension to the security of the European Union and the need for a common approach necessary for defending European interests in space;

2.  Underlines the need for space assets in order that the political and diplomatic activities of the European Union may be based on independent, reliable and complete information in support of its policies for conflict prevention, crisis management operations and global security, especially the monitoring of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of transportation and verification of international treaties, the transnational smuggling of light weapons and small arms, the protection of critical infrastructure and of the European Union's borders, and civil protection in the event of natural and man-made disasters and crises;

3.  Welcomes the endorsement of the European Space Policy by the "Space Council" as proposed by a joint communication presented by the Commission and the European Space Agency (COM(2007)0212), especially the chapter on security and defence, while regretting the absence of any reference to the threat of weaponisation of space within the "key issues to be considered in the development of a strategy for international relations" (as mentioned in Annex 3 to the above-mentioned Council Resolution of 21 May 2007); recommends, therefore, that the revised European Security Strategy should take this policy appropriately into account, and is of the view that space matters should be reflected in the possible White Paper on Security and Defence Policy;

4.  Notes the inclusion of a legal basis for the European Space Policy in the Treaty of Lisbon; welcomes the opportunity given to it and to the Council to lay down, under the ordinary legislative procedure, the measures needed to shape a European Space Programme; calls on the Commission to submit to it and to the Council an appropriate proposal for such measures, together with a Communication relating to the establishment of appropriate relations with the European Space Agency; also welcomes the possibilities of permanent structured cooperation in security and defence matters and enhanced cooperation in the civilian area;

5.  Encourages the Member States of the European Union , the European Space Agency and the various stakeholders to make greater and better use of the existing national and multinational space systems and to foster their complementarity; notes in this respect that common capabilities are needed for ESDP in at least the following areas: telecommunications, information management, observation and navigation; recommends the sharing and exchange of these data in line with the EU concept for Network Centric Operations Architecture;

6.  Applauds the efforts of the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety to promote remediation, understanding and measures in respect of space debris;

Autonomous threat assessment

7.  Calls on the EU Member States to pool and exchange the geospatial intelligence necessary for autonomous EU threat assessment;

Earth observation and reconnaissance

8.  Urges that the European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC) be fully developed to make full use of its potential; moreover, recommends the urgent conclusion of agreements between the European Union Satellite Centre and the EU Member States to provide imagery available to ESDP operation and force commanders while ensuring complementarity with Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) observation capacities and derived security-related information; in this regard, welcomes the Tactical Imagery Exploitation Station project, run jointly by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Union Satellite Centre;

9.  Recommends that the EU develop a common concept for geospatial intelligence, creating conditions for involvement of the EUSC in the planning for each ESDP operation requiring space-based observation and space-based intelligence; recommends that the EUSC establish a secure communication link in support of ESDP operations not only with the Operations Headquarters (OHQ) based in the EU but also with the Force Headquarters (FHQ) in the deployment region; furthermore, suggests that the EU explore the possibility of a financial contribution to the EUSC from the EU budget in order to provide sufficient funds to meet the increasing needs of ESDP operations;

10.  Urges the EU Member States having access to the various types of radar, optical and weather observation satellites and reconnaissance systems (Helios, SAR-Lupe, TerraSAR-X, Rapid Eye, Cosmo-Skymed, Pleiades) to make them compatible; welcomes the bilateral and multilateral agreements between the leading EU countries (e.g. SPOT, ORFEO, the Helios cooperative framework, the Schwerin agreement and the future MUSIS); recommends that the MUSIS system be brought within a European framework and financed from the EU budget;

11.  Emphasises the importance of GMES for foreign as well as security and defence policies of the European Union; urges the creation of an operational budget line to ensure the sustainability of GMES services in response to users" needs;

Navigation – positioning – timing

12.  Underlines the necessity of Galileo for autonomous ESDP operations, for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, for Europe's own security and for the Union's strategic autonomy; notes that, in particular, its public-regulated service will be vital in the field of navigation, positioning and timing, not least in order to avoid unnecessary risks;

13.  Notes the first-reading agreement between Parliament and the Council on the proposal for a regulation on the further implementation of the European satellite radionavigation programmes (EGNOS and Galileo), which establishes that the Community is the owner of the system and that its deployment phase is fully financed by the Community budget;

14.  Draws attention to its position adopted on 23 April 2008 on the European satellite radionavigation programmes (EGNOS and Galileo)(4), in particular, to the fact that the EGNOS and Galileo programmes should be considered as one of the major pillars of the future European Space Programme, and to the governance of these programmes, together with the Galileo Interinstitutional Panel, which may serve as a model in the development of a European Space Policy;


15.  Underlines the need for secure satellite-supported communication for ESDP operations (EU Military Staff, EU Headquarters, deployable headquarters) and EU Member States' deployments under UN, NATO and other similar organisations;

16.  Requests that the current and future satellite telecommunication systems at the disposal of the EU Member States (e.g. Skynet, Syracuse, Sicral, SATCOM Bw, Spainsat) be interoperable in order to provide for cost reduction;

17.  Supports the cooperative development of a Software-Defined Radio (SDR) by the Commission and the European Defence Agency; notes that SDR will contribute to better interoperability of the ground segment of telecommunications systems;

18.  Recommends that savings be achieved by shared use of the ground infrastructure supporting different national telecommunications systems;

19.  Supports the possibility of funding future European satellite telecommunications systems supporting ESDP operations from the EU budget;

Space surveillance

20.  Supports the creation of a European space surveillance system leading to space situational awareness (including, for example, GRAVES and TIRA) to monitor the space infrastructure, space debris and, possibly, other threats;

21.  Supports the possibility of funding the future European space situational awareness system from the EU budget;

Satellite-based early warning against ballistic missiles

22.  Deplores the fact that EU Member States do not have access to instant data on ballistic missile launches around the world; expresses support, therefore, for projects leading towards satellite-based early warning against ballistic missile launches (such as the French "Spirale"); furthermore, calls for information acquired through these future systems to be available to all EU Member States in order to protect their population and to support possible countermeasures, as well as to serve in the verification of compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and for the purposes of ESDP operations and safeguarding Europe's security interests;

Signal intelligence

23.  Supports the exchange of signal intelligence (electronic intelligence such as the French "Essaim" and communications intelligence) at European level;

Autonomous access to space and international environment

24.  Supports secure, independent and sustainable access to space for the European Union as one of the preconditions of its autonomous action;

25.  Recommends that the European non-commercial satellites be carried into orbit by European launchers, preferably from the territory of the European Union, bearing in mind the aspects of security of supply and protection of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base;

26.  Points out that it is necessary to increase the development effort in order for an enhanced Ariane 5 to be available before 2015;

27.  Recommends that strategic long-term investment in new European launchers be initiated as soon as possible, in order to keep up with the rising global competition; demands a greater degree of discipline for this project, in budgetary and time-frame terms;

28.  Recommends that on-orbit servicing be established as a means of support to enhance the endurance, persistence, availability and operational efficiency of operational space assets and, at the same time, to reduce asset deployment and maintenance costs;


29.  Encourages strong inter-pillar cooperation for space and security, involving all the relevant actors (i.e. the Commission, the Council, the European Defence Agency and the European Union Satellite Centre), in order to safeguard the security policy and data security linked with the ESDP;

30.  Strongly recommends the promotion of equal access for all EU Member States to operational data gathered using space assets under a reinforced ESDP framework;

31.  Recommends that administrative and financial capacities for the management of space-related activities be developed by the European Defence Agency;


32.  Points out that the EU budget commits expenditure amounting to approximately EUR 5 250 million in the years 2007-2013 on common European space activities, resulting in an average expenditure of EUR 750 million per year over that period;

33.  Calls on the European Union to set up an operational budget for space assets that serve to support the ESDP and European security interests;

34.  Is alarmed by the fact that the lack of coordination among Member States results in a scarcity of resources due to unnecessary duplication of activities; therefore supports the idea of the launching of joint programmes by the Member States, which will provide costs savings in the longer term;

35.  Furthermore, notes that the cost of the absence of a common European approach to the procurement, maintenance and functioning of space assets is estimated to amount to hundreds of millions of euros;

36.  Points out that, as experience has shown, large-scale common projects cannot be properly managed when 27 different national budget authorities applying the principle of "fair return" are involved; therefore strongly recommends that these projects and programmes be financed from the EU budget;

37.  Notes that the estimates of available expertise suggest that the level of investment needed to address the European security and defence needs in terms of satellite telecommunications, and the appropriate expenditure of the European Union on Earth observation and intelligence gathering, including signal intelligence, should be substantially increased in order to provide for the needs and ambitions of a comprehensive space policy;

38.  Takes the view that the European Union, the European Space Agency, the European Defence Agency and their Member States should provide for reliable and adequate funding for the space activities envisaged and the research connected therewith; attaches great importance to the financing from the budget of the EU, such as on the Galileo project;

Protection of space infrastructure

39.  Underscores the vulnerability of strategic space assets as well as the infrastructure allowing access to space, e.g. launchers and space ports; therefore stresses the need for them to be adequately protected by ground-based theatre missile defence, planes and space surveillance systems; furthermore supports the sharing of data with international partners in the event that satellites are rendered inoperable by enemy action;

40.  Calls for the vulnerability of future European satellite systems to be reduced through anti-jamming, shielding, on-orbit servicing, high-orbit and multi-orbital constellation architectures;

41.  Emphasises that the protective measures must be fully compliant with international standards regarding peaceful uses of outer space and commonly agreed transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs); asks EU Member States to explore the possibility of developing legally or politically binding "rules of the road" for space operators, together with a space traffic management regime;

42.  Stresses that, as a result of this vulnerability, advanced communication should never be made fully dependent on space-based technologies;

International legal regime for uses of space

43.  Reiterates the importance of the principle of the use of space for peaceful purposes expressed in the above-mentioned 1967 Outer Space Treaty; is therefore concerned by the possible future weaponisation of space;

44.  Urges that under no circumstances should European space policy contribute to the overall militarisation and weaponisation of space;

45.  Calls for the international legal regime to be strengthened so as to regulate and protect non-aggressive space uses and for the strengthening of TCBMs, within the framework of the drafting by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) of space debris mitigation guidelines consistent with those of the Inter-Agency Debris Coordination Committee as well as the development by the UN Conference on Disarmament of a multilateral agreement on the prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space; furthermore, asks the EU Presidency to represent the EU proactively in COPUOS; calls on the EU institutions to promote a conference to review the Outer Space Treaty, with the aim of strengthening it and expanding its scope to prohibit all weapons in space;

46.  Calls on all international actors to refrain from using offensive equipment in space; expresses its particular concern about the use of destructive force against satellites, such as the Chinese anti-satellite system tested in January 2007, and the consequences of the massive increase in debris for space security; recommends, therefore, the adoption of legally binding international instruments focusing on banning the use of weapons against space assets and the stationing of weapons in space;

47.  Calls on all space users to register their satellites, including military satellites, by way of a space security confidence-building measure promoting transparency; supports the Council's pursuit of a comprehensive EU Code of Conduct on Space Objects; demands that this Code be transformed into a legally binding instrument;

48.  Urges the United Nations and the European Union to engage in the active diminution of, and protection from, space debris harmful to satellites;

Transatlantic cooperation on space policy and missile defence

49.  Urges the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to launch a strategic dialogue on space policy and missile defence, while bearing in mind the legal imperative of avoiding any action that might be incompatible with the principle of the peaceful use of space, especially on the complementarity and interoperability of systems for satellite communications, space surveillance, and early warning of ballistic missiles, as well as protection of European forces by a theatre missile defence system;

50.  Calls on the European Union and the United States of America to engage in a strategic dialogue on the use of space assets and to take the global lead within and outside the UN to make sure that outer space is preserved for peaceful policies only;

Other international cooperation

51.  Welcomes the strengthened cooperation between the European Union and the Russian Federation within the framework of the above-mentioned Tripartite Space Dialogue set up in 2006 between the European Commission, the European Space Agency and Roscosmos, including space applications (satellite navigation, Earth observation and satellite communications) as well as access to space (launchers and future space transportation systems);

o   o

52.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European Space Agency, the parliaments of the Member States and the Secretaries-General of the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

(1) OJ C 136, 20.6. 2007, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 96 E, 21.4.2004, p. 136.
(3) OJ C 33 E, 9.2.2006, p. 580.
(4) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0167.

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