Brussels, 03 Mar 2003
The Council, following a brief presentation of the Commission's Green Paper on Space Policy by Commissioner Busquin, welcomed the document as an important step forward in discussions on the future of the European space strategy. It was noted that further discussion is foreseen during the coming months with the Council coming back to the issue in more depth at its session in May.
The Green Paper published on 22 January 2003 has been prepared in co-operation with the European Space Agency (ESA). The contents reflect the concerns of the Commission, often shared by ESA.
The aim of this Green Paper is to initiate a debate on the medium- and long-term future use of space for the benefit of Europe and on policy options available. It first of all reviews the fundamental issues which underpin the European space activity (Chapter I); afterwards, it illustrates the considerable potential afforded to the benefit of the citizens and the policies of the Union (Chapter II); it also examines certain institutional and regulatory aspects, as well as the organisational consequences to be drawn (Chapter III).
A wide-ranging public consultation on all aspects of European space policy will end on 30 May 2003. The response of interested parties to the questions raised will subsequently make it possible to draw up an action plan ("White Paper").