European Space Conference: 'Europe must be more independent and resilient in space exploration'

Europe must become more independent and resilient in the field of space exploration. This was the overarching message of the 16th edition of the European Space Conference in Brussels.

State secretary for Science Policy Thomas Dermine (PS) called for the strengthening of European space research in his speech. He said cybersecurity was critical given the potential impact on daily life in the event of a security system failure.

Wake-up call

"For the European space sector, 2024 is a crucial turning point," he said, describing the possible re-election of Donald Trump in the US as a "wake-up call".

The European Commission is working on a legal framework, the EU Space Law, with common rules for a single market to promote European unity in space. The initiative aims to avoid fragmentation and address the lack of national space legislation. The new rules are expected to be adopted by the Commission this spring.

"European space law should support our industry in a safe, resilient and sustainable way"

"This initiative should give companies and member states a competitive edge," said Ekaterini Kavvada, director for space development at the European Commission. "European space law should support our industry in a safe, resilient and sustainable way."

European Commissioner Thierry Breton also hopes the new single market will make Europe an international space power. "We are facing unprecedented crises," said Breton. "We must, therefore, focus on European sovereignty over access to space and radically join forces."

The annual European Space Conference provides a platform for discussions between policymakers, industry leaders and researchers on the future of the European space industry.


State secretary for Science Policy Thomas Dermine © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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