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European Space Agency outlines upcoming global space initiatives at high-level forum

The Director General of ESA and the President of Eurospace both explained the need for resources to develop the European space sector and how it must be commensurate with the political ambitions of both the EU and its member states.

The European Space Agency hosted the sixth edition of a high-level forum with representatives from the European space institutional and industrial communities, where it outlined the stages of development in various fields of space activity and the different roles that players and stakeholders would play in coming years.

Jan Woerner, Director General of ESA, presented his proposal on how to create a United Europe in Space, by carrying out the Agency’s programmes and activities. He also outlined related downstream activities starting in 2020 around science and exploration.

Jean-Loic Galle, President of Eurospace, underlined how the significant growth of resources recently proposed by the European Commission in the EU MFF 2021-2027 Space Programme needs to be sustained by a significant intensification of investments on Member States side, through ESA, in order to keep-up on the long-term with the sharp growth taking place in other space powers.

“We recommend a set of initiatives, to be decided at the next ministerial Council in 2019 in order to meet several societal challenges, to implement a true space economy; but also because Europe shall have new flagship programmes, after Rosetta or ExoMars or Galileo and Copernicus. New flagship programmes are needed to catalyse massive investments and to result in a competitive leap forward. ESA is the place where these new adventures can be born”.

Jan Woerner and Jean-Loic Galle shared the need for the European space sector to have resources commensurate with both EU and its member states’ political ambitions and industry competitiveness challenges. They commented that the next ESA ministerial Council in 2019 will be a turning point for the perspectives of the European space sector and for the value it will be able to generate for Europe in the years to come.