26 June 2007. The Interdisciplinary Centre for Space Studies at the University of Leuven held the 6th workshop in its series on European Space Policy, dealing this time with the challenges to come following the adoption of “A First European Space Policy”. ESPI was invited to contribute an assessment of the security dimension of space.

The one-day workshop had two parts: in a first session general views were exchanged on the recently adopted European Space Policy. In the second part, stakeholders and analysts reviewed sectoral challenges.

In the first part, Paul Weissenberg, responsible director in the European Commission and Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s director general presented the main features of ESA together with Karl-Friedrich Nagel from the German Ministry for Economics and Technology, representing the German EU Presidency. In a critique and evaluation, Kevin Madders, the organizer of the workshop, stressed the benefits of ESP but also pointed out to the challenges ahead.

A selection of such challenges was presented in the second part of the workshop, where six experts shared their views on sectoral issues: industrial policy (Gilles Macquet from EADS), commercial exploitation (Ignacio Gonzales-Nunez from the European Satellites Operators Association), space science and exploration (Alain Dupas from the College de Polytechnique and Christoffel Waelkens from Leuven) and the integration of the new EU member States (Jakub Ryzenk from the Polish Space Office). ESPI (Kai-Uwe Schrogl) had been invited to speak on the operational and structural challenges of tackling the security dimension of space.

The workshop – one in an already well-established series – provided a good opportunity for informal exchanges of ideas and the discussion of the requirements for implementing ESP. ESPI and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Space Studies at the University of Leuven will continue to work closely together in this field.

photo credit: ICSS

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