Secure World Foundation has just released an informative and instructive publication: European Space Governance: The Outlook.

This space policy report is based on a conference organized by Secure World Foundation and the Institut français des Relations Internationales  in Brussels, Belgium.

It reviewed the evolution of European space governance and convened almost two years after the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and five months after the release of the European Commission Communication on a future European space strategy.

The space governance debate in Europe is very passionate as it touches upon the highly sensitive questions of sovereignty and power-sharing. Thus, the desired outcome of the event was to create a balanced view on European space governance, taking full account of the issue’s complexity.

The conference gathered recognized space policy experts, high level representatives from various public institutions including the European Commission, the European Space Agency, European Defence Agency, European External Action Service, national space agencies, as well as representatives from the private space sector to discuss the major governance challenges ahead.

Policy-oriented suggestions

European Space Governance: The Outlook was prepared by Ifri and SWF and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of conference participants, with discussion held under Chatham House Rules.

This report is a short and to-the-point analysis of the conference proceedings. It aims to provide decision-makers with references and policy-oriented suggestions for the immediate future.” – Laurence Nardon Head Ifri Space Policy Program

Ifri is a research center and a forum for debate on major international political and economic issues. As an independent think tank, Ifri brings together political and economic decision-makers, researchers and internationally renowned experts to animate its debate and research activities.

Crosscutting issues

The new publication draws upon conference panels and a keynote speech on the European Union proposal for a Code of Conduct for outer space activities, as well as a number of crosscutting issues, such as:

— Policy implications of the Lisbon Treaty

— The legal framework of space activities in Europe

— The financial sustainability of space programs, and procurement rules

— Trends spurred by specific programs such as Europe’s Galileo/European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System, the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, and the MUltinational Space-based Imaging System.

Conference participants made clear that a strong public commitment to European Space Policy is needed, in particular from a financial perspective. In summary, space is a strategic sector for Europe.

Pragmatic approach

European space governance is a complex issue with multiple layers spanning national, intergovernmental and supranational levels with international implications.

As illustrated in the just-released European Space Governance: The Outlook, improving the European space governance architecture is a slow and iterative process, and can only succeed based on a pragmatic approach and a strong political consensus on the central objectives of European Space Policy as a whole.

We are very pleased with the fact that we continue to produce a solid output every year together with Ifri.” – Agnieszka Lukaszczyk European Program Manager Secure World Foundation in Brussels, Belgium