28 February 2012. Issue 57 of the "ESPI Perspectives" series presents a case study of space activities in Belgium. The authors draw an elaborate picture of Belgium’s space activities’ governance and funding mechanisms on a national, federal and regional level. They then analyse the particular role of regional governments in Belgium in supporting space activities.
Belgium’s federal space budget stricto sensu of €183 million is managed by BELSPO, of which €163 million or 89% is channelled via ESA. Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is a parallel competence in Belgium, divided between the Federal Government, the three Communities and the three Regions. Within STI, International space activities are the exclusive competence of the Belgium Federal Government but space activities performed purely on the national level are a Regional competence. Space governance at the federal level is mainly centralised in BELSPO. On the regional STI level, EWI, DGO6, DGENORS and AEE are the most prominent players involved with space. A wide range of policy areas – a lot of which are regional competences – can truly benefit from space assets and derived applications and services. A deeper involvement of the Regions and Communities in the Belgian space efforts (upstream and downstream) in a closer partnership with the Federal Government would be highly beneficial for the country and its policies (national and regional) and contribute to the success of Belgium’s space policy.
Maarten Adriaensen, co-author of “ESPI Perspectives 57”
Maarten Adriaensen is young graduate trainee at the European Space Agency (ESA) in Paris, in the Policies Department, in the Office for Coordination and Business Development with Member States. He is performing research, in assistance of Philippe Erhard and Stefania Barbieri, in the coordination at corporate level of the Agency’s policies and actions towards Member States and Associate States. In this regard, Maarten is currently investigating the role of the local and regional authorities in space governance and the potential development of partnerships between ESA and European regions. Before, he was research intern at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna and coordinative assistant at the Master of Space Studies Programme at the Universities of Leuven and Ghent. He has obtained degrees in Space Studies, European Studies, Law and History.