EU Council Approves Resolution on Space

Press Release From: European Union
Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2003

image On 13 May 2003 the Council of the European Union unanimously approved a resolution on the development of a European Space Policy. The Council also strongly expressed its support for the European Commission's Space Green Paper and welcomed the upcoming International Space Conference planned for November 2003 in Naples, Italy.

The approved resolution reads as follows:


Following a brief exchange of views at the formal session of the Council, Ministers agreed to adoption of the Council Resolution on the development of an overall European Space Policy as set out below:


1. RECALLING its conclusions of 10 December 2001,

2. WELCOMING the on-going negotiations with a view to the conclusion of a framework agreement between the European Community and the European Space Agency;

3. NOTING the work of the Convention regarding research, technological development and space;

4. WELCOMES the Green Paper of the European Commission, prepared in co-operation with ESA, and the on-going consultation process launched in order to take into consideration the different positions of Member States and aiming at further developing an overall European Space Policy; NOTES the contributions already made by a significant cross-section of European actors and citizens to the on-going Green Paper consultation; EMPHASIZES the need to address critical questions raised in this document as well as user aspects, so as to promote the long-term interests of the Union;

5. UNDERLINES the continuously increasing importance of cost-effective and affordable space technologies for the European citizens, contributing, inter alia, to:

  • the increasing competitiveness of European enterprises by providing them with new opportunities;
  • an emerging knowledge society;
  • the implementation of a wide range of European policies; as well as
  • the relevance of space technologies in the context of the further development of European policies, including the Common Foreign and Security Policy;

6. EMPHASISES the urgency of concrete action at European level, especially against the background of the critical situation in the European space sector, mainly in the launch services and the commercial satellite markets, and with a view to meeting critical milestones, in particular with regard to the GALILEO project and the restructuring of the European launch sector;

7. STRESSES the need for concluding the framework agreement between the Community and ESA, as soon as possible and no later than the end of 2003, in view of the White Paper, as a step towards the further development of an overall European space policy;

8. WELCOMES the Commission's intention to submit to the Council and European Parliament, in co-operation with ESA, a White Paper on Space, setting out the objectives and containing proposals for required actions for a European Space Policy, with a view to a possible European Space Programme;

9. UNDERLINES the importance of international co-operation in space, bearing also in mind the emergence of several new space powers, and invites the Commission, in co-operation with ESA, to step up its efforts to promote co-operation in this field and notes the Commission's intention to organise an international conference;

10. REITERATES that a joint meeting of the Council of the European Union and of the Council of the European Space Agency at Ministerial Level could provide additional new momentum to the joint efforts to develop a European Space Policy, and considers that the second half of 2003 could be an appropriate time for such a meeting."

For the full text of the 2505th Council meeting on COMPETITIVENESS (Internal Market, Industry and Research) - Brussels, 13 May 2003, click here:

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