After a successful first event in November 2021, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) are organising the 2nd ESA Security Conference. The event will take place on 16-17 May 2023, in Brussels (Palais d’Egmont).Programme at a glance
Space assets have become an integral, fundamental pillar of strategic decision-making and of modern security operations. Recent regional events have shown how significantly the security environment and the role of space have evolved, prompting European actors to adapt and update their security strategies and contributions.
ESA’s governance and its contribution to European security is defined by its Convention and by its Member States, which have increasingly engaged in security matters, as exemplified by the decisions taken at ESA’s November 2022 Council meeting at ministerial level pertaining to Space Safety, ESA’s elements related to Secure Connectivity, cybersecurity and civil security from space. ESA has been as well fully committed to its Copernicus contribution and to implementing Galileo on behalf of the EU. Moreover, ESA has contributed to non-traditional security activities by actively partnering with national and global actors alike in fighting climate change, through its commitment to the Millennial Development Goals, or through its dialogue with international judicial actors such as the International Criminal Court. Through this complex and holistic dynamic, ESA’s R&D contribution is and will remain complementary to national efforts, investments, and leadership.
The 2nd ESA Security Conference will explore ways to make ESA activities and expertise more readily available to its stakeholders, while also reflecting on the Agency’s further contribution to both Europe’s welfare and international peace and security through its programmes, policies and partnerships.
With these aims in mind, the event will bring together stakeholders from politics, industry and research, as well as users of space services who will, together, discuss how the Agency should move forward in terms of shaping its space security approach and apparatus.
The programme of the event is available below.
Taking stock of the recent evolution of Europe’s strategic environment and recent moves at national and European level, this panel will highlight the relevance of space in crisis management.
Based on recent international policy shifts, on the strategic ambitions laid down in the Strategic Compass and Space and Security/Defence Strategy, but also in ESA initiatives and orientations (Agenda 2025, CM22), what are the stakes that Europe will face in the next couple of decades and which support could space actors bring?
Klaus Korhonen, Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Permanent Representation of Finland to NATO
Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defense, Friends of Europe
The panel will present actual use cases through which space actors contribute to the security of goods and people on the continent, focusing on “softer” dimensions of security, such as emergency management, civil security, protection against climate change impacts…
Thao Ton-That Whelan, GIS and remote sensing analyst, International Committee of the Red Cross
Hermann Ludwig Moeller, Director, European Space Policy Institute
Europe needs to project itself into the future and determine the role it wishes to play as a security actor and driver. However, although capabilities do exist, they are not always properly interconnected, while it would provide significant added value to end users. In addition, some capability gaps still exist. Existing and upcoming capabilities in ESA and the EU are present at both institutional and commercial level. This panel will explore how greater interaction/coordination between different service providers (public and private) can be attained and identify the technical steps that are required to reach this objective (if any). In addition, investigation of the current gaps to be addressed by space R&D organisations, such as ESA, will be conducted.
Miguel Belló Mora, Director, Spanish Space Agency
Clémence Poirier, Research Fellow, European Space Policy Institute
The space industry has matured to such an extent that it now provides key “space for security” capabilities in most areas (Earth observation, secure satellite communications, launchers, etc.). Considering the challenges over the next decade in the face of the currently available or planned capabilities, where will industry invest, and how will that talent be channeled to serve the general welfare through security? What kind of public-private partnerships can be envisaged to support security actors in the best manner? How should we divide efforts among owning, sharing, or simply buying off-the-shelf capabilities?
Serge Cholley, Director Defence and Security, Eutelsat
Steve Bochinger, Chief Operating Officer, Euroconsult
The panel will aim at identifying international “space for security” actors, highlighting the limits of fragmentation and how to leverage the strength of each non-EU partner, while supporting them: African Union, OSCE, Council of Europe, UN (incl. ICC, etc), WCO, etc.
Cécile Aptel, Deputy Director, UNIDIR
Isabelle Duvaux-Béchon, Senior Advisor – Integrated Accelerator Team, European Space Agency
If you wish to register to the conference, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Please note that the availability of seats is limited.
You can find the concept note of the conference here.
You can find the proceedings of the 1st ESA Security Conference (November 2021) here.