February 02, 2011

Final Call for a European Space Strategy

João M. Santos

Europe.Visions, n°8, janvier 2011


Space poses both an opportunity and a challenge for Europe. And so does the new provision of the Lisbon Treaty – article 189 TFEU – that awards the EU an explicit competency on Space. According to most stakeholders, this new EU competency has the potential to secure European space and space-related industries the very top spot in terms of both market share and technological innovation. Nevertheless, article 189 establishes a parallel competency of the EU, leaving untouched Member States’ capacity to pursue their own national space policies. Any successful EU space policy will, however, depend on the willingness of State actors to support a stable and coherent strategy at the European level. The aim of article 189 is precisely to go beyond fragmented cooperation and to allow the emergence of a cohesive, coherent and comprehensive European Space Policy and, one would hope, of a strategy guiding it. This article will try to provide an insight into the current debate on Space in Europe as well as a critical perspective on the challenges lying ahead with regard to a European Space Policy.

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