The final frontier: how the EU supports space programmes

Find out how the EU funds the space industry and how space technology is used in our infographic.

Infographic with facts and figures on EU space programmes and explaining what space technologies are used for in daily life
Check out our infographic for more facts

On 10 November 2020, the Parliament, Council and Commission approved plans establishing the EU's space programme for 2021-27 and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme. Parliament approved the €14.8 billion space programme in April 2021. The programme brings all space-related activities together and covers Galileo, Copernicus and Space Situational Awareness.

“An ambitious budget is indeed a key to the success of the EU Space Programme," said Massimiliano Salini, an Italian member of the EPP group. "The navigation system and the earth observation improve the performance of transport services that will produce many benefits at global and European level.”

One example is Galileo, which delivers operational services 24/7 to almost 1,3 billion users. “A more efficient traffic management will reduce emissions and tackle the problem of climate change, an increased use of drones will improve delivery and postal services, better flight tracking will reduce flight cancellations and noise.”

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.

“The space sector is also fundamental for the promotion of EU strategic autonomy and in nurturing the competitiveness of European industry,” said Salini. "This becomes of major importance in a context where traditional space powers remain very active and, at the same time, new players who increasingly challenge the competitiveness of the European space sector come in."

This article was originally published in 2018 and updated in April 2021