22 December 2009. This new issue of “ESPI Perspectives” looks at the past, analyses the present and provides views on the future of EISC, the European Interparliamentary Space Conference, which plays an important role in the European architecture for space policy making.
The European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) was established ten years ago in 1999 and now stands at the crossroads with the objective to facilitate the exchange of information on space activities and promote mutual understanding of national policies. Since its establishment the EISC provides a forum for debating issues related to national space policies and the European space policy. It analyses the major issues at stake in the European space sector. The EISC unites bodies dealing with space affairs (either committees or groups) created by national parliaments of Member States of the European Union (EU) or the European Space Agency (ESA) as so-called Permanent Members of the EISC. They decide upon membership, chair the EISC for a calendar year and adopt the resolution. Russia, having created such a dedicated parliamentary body outside of Europe, is currently Member of the EISC and can thus adhere to the resolution. Reflecting upon the most recent developments in the EISC, with Russia asking for Permanent Membership, the EISC is standing at the crossroads. It is facing a political decision about its future in which two scenarios seem to be realistic. Both are mutually exclusive. Thus, the EISC can either further extent its influence within Europe as a pure European institution within the European space architecture may be even as the parliamentary assembly for the European Space Policy (ESP) within an EU framework or it can include non-European countries thereby acquiring a strategic bridge-building function between Europe and non-European space-faring countries.
ESPI Project Manager Nina-Louisa Remuß and the President of XI. EISC Ian Taylor, MP
The author of this issue of “ESPI Perspectives”, ESPI Project Manager Nina-Louisa Remuß, has been in charge of ESPI’s support to the 2009 EISC Presidency held by the United Kingdom. She also set up the official website of EISC at http://www.eisc-europa.eu/, which is operated by ESPI.