Brussels. February, 15. INTERFAX – The European Commission (EC) on Tuesday presented two proposals in the field of space: on a secure space communication system and a common EU strategy for space management.
“Today’s initiative will ensure secure and effective communication at all times. This will benefit both citizens and governments, play a key role in Europe’s digital transformation and make us more competitive,” said EC Vice President Margrethe Vestager as she presented the projects.
She expressed her hope that the EU’s common vision on space management and the application of space technology would guarantee the safe and sustainable use of space in the long term.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, in turn, noted that outer space is now more crowded than ever before. This increases the complexity and risks associated with space activities.
“To meet this global challenge, we are today proposing a common EU strategy for managing space travel,” he said. “We will develop specific capabilities, set standards and work with key partners and in multilateral forums to ensure the safe, secure and sustainable use of space.”
The first of the proposed projects is designed to provide affordable, uninterrupted and secure global satellite communications. It will help protect critical infrastructure, land surveillance, international action, crisis management and areas critical to the economies, security and defense of EU Member States. The system will also provide links between geographical areas of strategic interest, such as Africa and the Arctic. It will use the latest quantum communication technology for secure encryption.
The total cost of the project is estimated at 6 billion euros. The EU’s contribution to the program from 2022 to 2027 will be € 2.4 billion in current prices. Funding comes from various public sources (EU budget, Member States’ budgets, grants from the European Space Agency) and investments from the private sector.
The second project concerns the EU’s overall view of space management and focuses on four parts: an assessment of civilian and military needs for space rules and their implications for the EU; improve the technical capacity to identify and track spacecraft and space debris; create a set of rules; establishing international partnerships in this field and interaction at multilateral level.
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