24 February 2010. ESPI Report 30 seeks to explore how space can advance key foreign policy objectives of the European Union (EU) in six areas of sustainable development, i.e. security, energy, environment, resources, knowledge and mobility.
Given the accelerating pace of external impacts and influences on the EU Member States resulting from the information revolution, the EU must become more institutionally agile and responsive to the often rapid foreign policy requirements of the 21st century. Space represents a powerful enabler and “multiplier” to meet these evolving requirements with respect to increasingly “real time” responses to cascading events like that currently witnessed in North Africa and the Middle East.
Sustainable development has been recognised as a key requirement for the proper functioning of the Earth’s environment, resource management, and human well-being. In its Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS), the European Union (EU) established an overarching strategy for virtually all EU policies. Sustainable development is likewise a central element of the “Europe 2020” strategy. European Space Policy (ESP) emphasizes the connectivity between space capabilities and the EU’s ability to exercise influence regionally and globally. It is now well-understood that space systems are a strategic asset for any nation, or group of nations, with global ambitions.
Space can serve as an important “multiplier” for the six areas of sustainability referenced. The study first provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities related to the EU’s multi-faceted foreign policy. It also examines Europe as a group of space-faring nations with global reach. The second part delineates key foreign policy objectives in each of the six areas identified and how these areas can benefit from available space systems and derived applications and services. In the concluding section, the study analyses how cooperation in space can serve to advance Europe’s political, economic and geostrategic aspirations and bolster the prospects for success in achieving these goals.
The study was conducted by Jana Robinson, ESPI Resident Fellow. It also benefited from her participation, as a speaker, in the 4th ESPI Autumn Conference, and other ESPI events including a Workshop on SatCom policy in December 2010 and the European Autonomy in Space conference in January 2011.
ESPI Resident Fellow Jana Robinson on panel “Space and international relations” at 4th ESPI Autumn Conference (third from left), together (from left) with Harald Posch (Chairman of the ESPI General Assembly), Ian Pryke (George Mason University, Washington DC) Michael Sheehan (University of Swansea), Lesley-Jane Smith (Leuphana University) and Moderator Helmut Staudenrausch (DLR)