Brussels, 17 February 2005
At the ‘Winning through co-operation: sharing the benefits of space’ conference in Brussels to day, over 40 nations and around 20 international organisations have come together to discuss international cooperation in space. Space is already an international endeavour, as demonstrated by a large variety of science projects. The conference has provided a forum between those States capable of providing space technology – the supply side – and those willing to make use of it – the demand side. European space industry has become a key actor in the world-wide commercial market of satellite manufacturing, launch services, and satellite operators. Sustaining a competitive industry (including manufacturers, service providers and operators) requires new research and technologies.
European Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen called for an increase the transparency between all actors involved. “The European Union (EU), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Member States should optimise their relations and respective resources. The Commission is currently working on a proposal for a genuine European Space Policy”.
“Reaching for the stars brings very “down to earth” benefits to our citizens and industry, from radio navigation, communication by satellite or early warning from natural disasters. We need to step up co-operation, on an EU level and internationally. Nobody can go it alone. The Commission also wants to substantially increase R&D efforts for space under the new R&D Framework Programme and we are assessing how to combine this with investment in appropriate public-private partnerships“.
ESA’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain stated: “The successful launch of Ariane 5 a few days ago brought us “back to the future” granting Europe enhanced independent access to space. And this outstanding achievement comes only one month after discovery of a new world through the spectacular descent of ESA’s science probe Huygens onto Titan. These are but two concrete examples of international cooperation. Huygens can be listed among the flagships of ESA/NASA longstanding cooperation, which extends also to many more space faring countries worldwide”.
Commissioner Verheugen further welcomed the new ten year action plan to set up the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), approved at the Third Earth Observation Summit held earlier in the week in Brussels. “This decision will enable us to better understand, assess and adapt to climate variability and change. This is of vital importance for meteorology and global change studies. It has been demonstrated during the recent Tsunami disaster in Asia that space technologies can contribute substantially to the management and reduction of risk”, Mr. Verheugen concluded.
Website on Earth & Space Week:
The results of the conference will also be published on this site.
More information on GMES:
Space research site: