27 June 2007. Suggestions for a European way to react to Chinese space activities and space perspectives for European Cooperating States (ECS) were discussed at an ESPI study presentation in Brussels on 26 June 2007. This event attracted around 30 representatives from various European institutions.
ESPI presented its latest two studies: „China’s Posture in Space. Implications for Europe” and “The European Space Programme – Opportunities and Challenges in Central and Eastern Europe” in Brussels at the premises of CLORA (Club des Organismes de Recherche Associés with support of IGLO (Informal Group of RTD Liaison Offices). The audience was composed of persons from the space community as well as from the foreign affairs community. The studies results were introduced by the ESPI project managers and discussed with the audience.
Wolfgang Rathgeber from ESPI presented the study “China’s Posture in Space. Implications for Europe” (full report here). Reflecting the report structure, he gave an overview of the geostrategic frame of Chinese space activities, discussed different foreign perceptions of China and analyzed the implications for Europe and its future way in space matters. These considerations were followed by thoughts of Isabelle Sourbès-Verger (CNRS, Paris), who had been part of the study group, on China as a strategic challenge for Europe.
Charlotte Mathieu from ESPI presented the study “The European Space Programme - Opportunities and Challenges in Central and Eastern Europe” (executive summary here). She first addressed the new EU Member States and in particular the most active of them in space, which are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania. In a second part, she presented the situation of the main space player in that region, Ukraine. In both cases, she gave an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of space activities in those countries, reviewed the benefits and costs, as well as challenges, of their further participation in the European Space Programme and finally made recommendations on the way forward.
With this first study presentation in Brussels, ESPI intended to bring the results of its work to the attention of decision-makers in the field. Participation as well as discussions were an encouraging signal that ESPI’s research is received with attention.