22 June 2007. The German EU Presidency hosted a seminar on “Security in space, the contribution of arms control and the role of the EU” in Berlin on 21 and 22 June 2007. This seminar also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty. ESPI was invited to moderate a session during this seminar.
The three framework conditions for this seminar were: the German EU presidency, which intended to stress the issue of arms control in outer space, the 40th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty, which is the most important but incomplete arms control treaty with regard to outer space and the Chinese anti-satellite test of 11 January 2007. In this context, the seminar circled around the question of how to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes and how to avoid the weaponization of outer space.
The seminar was meant to provide the member States of the EU (almost all of them were participating with representatives from foreign ministries or defence ministries) with information and analysis in the field of the use of space for security issues. For that purpose the organizers had invited European research institutes and think tanks as well as representatives from industry and institutions like the EU Satellite Center. In addition to that researchers from the US and Canada as well as representatives from the US government (State Department and US Air Force) shared their views.
Three sessions were moderated by representatives from major research institutions in the field: Rebecca Johnson from the Acronym Institute (Security of the Space Environment: vulnerability and challenges), Kai-Uwe Schrogl from ESPI (The Outer Space Treaty: The Magna Charta of space security) and Götz Neuneck from the University Hamburg/Pugwash (Arms control approaches in outer space). The final session (Looking ahead – the EUs contribution to safeguarding and furthering security in outer space) was moderated by the Deputy Federal Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control, Ambassador Rüdiger Lüdeking.
The seminar depicted a very engaged German EU presidency, stressing the need for new initiatives in keeping outer space free of weapons aiming at a code of conduct in that field. Since this was the first approach for a common European strategy in the field of space for security organized by the Council, the need was stressed to continue during the upcoming presidencies with the further conceptual development of this issue. ESPI, which had already advised the German Foreign Ministry in the organization of this seminar, will continue to support the shaping of this issue, which is of great importance for the European space strategy.