Green Paper on European Space Policy (Extracted from commission press release ahead of the Competitiveness Council of 13 May 2003)

May 13, 2003

Brussels, 12 May 2003

Ministers will exchange views on the Green Paper on European Space Policy ( COM(2003) 17 final), as adopted by the Commission on 21 January 2003.

The Paper, prepared by the Commission in co-operation with the European Space Agency (ESA), looks into Europe's strengths and weaknesses in this sector. The report lays the foundations for a broad consultation, to be completed on 30 June 2003, and tackles key issues such as the EU's independent access to space, scientific excellence in this field, and the industrial and technological base. The Paper also looks into relevant markets, human resources, the legal and institutional framework, international co-operation, and environmental and security issues.

The Paper has launched a debate with all players of the space sector - national and international organisations, the EU space industry and users, scientific community and citizens. As part of the consultation, the Commission has organised a series of workshops running until June. The consultation will help shape an EU response to competitiveness and security challenges concerning space, to be detailed in a forthcoming White Paper due out later this year.

Ministers should endorse a resolution on the development of an overall European space policy.

DN: MEMO/03/103 Date: 12/05/2003

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