Council adopts conclusions on the contribution of space to Europe’s competitiveness

The Council has today adopted conclusions on ‘strengthening Europe’s competitiveness through space’. The text reflects on how a more competitive European space sector can contribute to the economic and social challenges of the Union and reinforce its role at global level.

“The space sector will play an increasingly important role in the strategic autonomy of Europe. An ambitious space policy will create business opportunities and quality jobs in this fast-growing sector, and will also help our economy, both industry and services, to accelerate the green and digital transitions and be better prepared to compete at global level.”

(Thomas Dermine, State Secretary for Recovery and Strategic Investment, with responsibility for Scientific Policy, attached to the Minister for the Economy and Employment)

The contribution of space to Europe’s competitiveness

The Council conclusions highlight the growing importance of space in many areas of EU socio-economic challenges and policies, from the green deal (with data collection to better understand and prepare for climate change), the digital transition (communication and information space-based services) or the overall competitiveness of the EU. Furthermore, space contributes to economic growth by generating innovative solutions, systems, applications and services that can benefit many other sectors via more integrated cooperation between the space and non-space sectors.

Boosting the space sector

In the text adopted today, member states underline the need to enhance the use of space data, and call for the stronger development of the space sector by securing and increasing both public and private investment. Public procurement, a good risk management framework or the promotion of public and private funding models could have a positive impact on all actors in the space ecosystem, including small and medium enterprises. The conclusions also underline the importance of profiting from the multiplying effect of investment in space research and development, promoting a stable and predictable business framework and developing the necessary skills within the sector’s workforce. The conclusions underline the important role of public authorities in ensuring cost-effective data access for companies, while preserving the security and protection of space data.

Space and global action

Based on the conclusions adopted today, the European Union and the European Space Agency should contribute to the development of global rules that ensure a sustainable space environment. The conclusions state that a strong European space sector is fundamental for European strategic autonomy, and call for the expansion of the European space sector and global collaborative partnerships. The conclusions also emphasise that space is vital for the protection of critical infrastructure (such as energy or network infrastructure), which makes it imperative to secure critical technologies.


The Belgian presidency of the EU Council has organised a joint ESA-EU Space Council to mark the 20th anniversary of the ESA-EU Framework Agreement. The ESA-EU Framework Agreement, which is the institutional foundation for the cooperation between both organisations, foresees the organisation of such meetings. The theme proposed for this occasion was ‘Reinforcing Europe’s competitiveness through space’. The main challenges the European space sector is currently facing include navigating through international competition, developing cutting-edge innovation, and increasing the global attractiveness of Europe’s space market.