25 November 2011. Issue 54 of the "ESPI Perspectives" series investigates recent developments in European Institutional export control legislation, and highlights its relevance and potential impact on the European space industry.
Located at the crossroads of defence, security and civil applications, space does not generally enjoy a specific export control regulation, but it is rather subject to both dual use and defence export control provisions. While Council Regulation 428/2009 governs the control of exports of dual use goods, directives 2009/43/EC on intra-EU transfers of defence products and 2009/81/EC on the coordination of procedures for the award of contracts in the field of defence and security could also partially affect the space sector. Intended to strengthen the European industrial and technological base, these two directives underpin the extension of the single market rule to the strategic domain, where national prerogatives and restrictions are traditionally predominant. While in the dichotomy between free trade and security issues the protection of national industrial interests plays an important role, there is a risk that an inhomogeneous enforcement of the new provisions hampers the growth and integration of the space sector in Europe.