Brussels, 11 January 2002
The European Parliament will debate a Commission communication on the need to develop a more coherent European space strategy on 16 January.
The European Council called upon the Commission and the European space agency (ESA) to pursue this strategy in December 1999 and asked the Commission to set up a joint high level task force with ESA by the end of 2000.
Reporting for the Parliament's Industry, trade, research and energy committee, Greek MEP Konstantinos Alyssandrakis will emphasise that space activities should be intended only for peaceful purposes. In his report, Mr Alyssandrakis also argues ESA should be brought into the EU in the longer term, whilst retaining its autonomy. The report also supports the three lines of action proposed in the Commission communication: 'strengthening the foundation for space activities', 'enhancing scientific knowledge' and 'reaping the benefits for markets and society', stating that these actions will benefit European research, industry and society as a whole.