European Space Policy Background for the Competitiveness Council 26/27 Nov.

November 25, 2003

Brussels, 24 Nov 2003

The Council will hear the presentation by Commissioner Philippe Busquin of the Commission's White Paper "Space: a new European frontier for an expanding Union- An action plan for implementing the European Space Policy".

In this White Paper, the Commission proposes the implementation of an extended European Space Policy to support the achievement of the European Union's policy goals. In particular, it is proposed to exploit the special benefits space technologies can deliver in support of the Union's policies and objectives: faster economic growth, job creation and industrial competitiveness, enlargement and cohesion, sustainable development and security and defence.

This White Paper is a call to action to the European Space Agency (ESA), EU and ESA Member States with their national space agencies, research centres, and industry. The European Space Policy will be implemented within a multi-annual European Space Programme which will be the mechanism for determining priorities, setting objectives, allocating roles and responsibilities and framing annual budgets. Its scope must embrace R&D, infrastructure development, services and technology and it should be reviewed and updated regularly.

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