Brussels, 11 Mar 2004
The Council had an exchange of views on European space policy on the basis of the Commission White Paper of November 2003, which outlines a detailed set of space policy actions and also suggests a road map for a "European Space Programme", as well as of the Communication on GMES (Global monitoring for environment and security).
Bearing in mind the need to have a co-ordinated approach by the Community, European Space Agency (ESA) and Member States in 2004, as outlined in the Commission' s White Paper, Ministers examined the following questions:
1. the general approach and priorities of the White Paper and the respective roles and responsibilities of different actors, in particular the Community and ESA in the context of the EC/ESA Framework Agreement;
2. the time-scale of and approach to further development of space policies in the short term which could be discussed and undertaken jointly with the ESA, possibly via an informal "Space Council";
3. the aspects or lines of action of the White Paper on which the Commission could begin work during 2004;
4. the approach the Commission should have to ongoing and future space projects included under the Quick Start initiative, such as GMES (Global monitoring for environment and security).
Ministers agreed to pursue reflection on the issues raised in the Commission's Communication with a view to holding an informal joint meeting of the EU/ESA Council before of 2004.