Space conference: EU priorities for space in 2021

This year’s 13th Space conference offers high-level debates between key players of the European space domain in the essential issues Europe is facing today in this unprecedented context: recovery, development of secure public telecommunications, resilience, digital and green transition. On this occasion, Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton delivered a keynote speech this morning where he laid out the main priorities for EU Space in 2021, which are: the consolidation and development of our flagship programmes as tools for the digital and green transition, Copernicus and Galileo; Europe’s strategic autonomy in space; the development of secure connectivity as the third main element of Europe’s space capabilities and the positioning of Europe as the hub for space entrepreneurship in the world. With the adoption of the Space Regulation and a robust financial envelope of €13.2 billion for the EU Space Programme, the Commission has the basis to develop Europe’s leadership in space and consolidate past achievements. Tomorrow, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell will deliver a keynote speech on the importance of space in amplifying the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, including in the defence domain, therefore advancing Europe’s strategic autonomy. This will enable the EU to protect the security of the Union and of its citizens both on Earth as well as in space. In this regard, the EU will continue working to prevent an arms race while promoting a responsible behaviour and peaceful use of outer space. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, is also participating in the conference. Commissioner Gabriel will highlight that funding and extensive support in research and innovation are essential for the EU to become a global leader in space. Horizon 2020 has been a key instrument, supporting the research community to develop breakthrough space technologies and concepts, while the incoming Horizon Europe programme will further enable innovation in the space sector. For more details, please find the programme here. All speeches will be available on EbS after delivery.