26 November 2015. In this report, ESPI Resident Fellows Marco Aliberti and Arne Lahcen assess two important elements regarding the EU’s future role and mandate in space activities and programmes.
First, the report explores how the EU’s current role in space has evolved and, how the current flagship programmes could be enhanced from a policy and governance perspective. Here the main question is how it can be assured that the operational phases of the existing flagship programmes, Galileo and Copernicus, are managed so that the objectives formulated at their inception will materialise to the fullest extent possible. In this respect two analyses are performed: recommendations are made on how the socioeconomic and strategic benefits of the existing programmes can be further optimised and, how European innovation ecosystems can be created for the GNSS and EO industries, applications and services. This chapter also looks at how the flagship programmes are to be continued and how the requirements to guide this process should be established. Second, the report aims to support the reflection process for the European Commission and other European stakeholders in determining whether, in which area, and in what way the will to increase EC involvement in space activities could be channelled. Here, three potential fields for EU involvement are identified and assessed, namely in the fields of: (1) Space Exploration, (2) Launchers and, (3) Space Security. While this analysis shows that each scenario has very particular characteristics, selecting one candidate over another eventually comes down to the relative weight decision-makers will attribute to the different socioeconomic, strategic and political benefits as well as the challenges related to EC involvement for each scenario in terms of political, financial and operational feasibility. This ESPI report aims to be an element supporting the reflection process for the European Commission and other European stakeholders.