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ESPI’s Provision of Evidence for Mid-Term Evaluation of the EU Space Programme

From 12 – 16 November 2023, a call for evidence opened for the mid-term evaluation of the EU Space Programme. Amongst others, ESPI submitted feedback. A PDF copy of our feedback can be found here and more information about this initiative can be found here.

As outlined in our landmark ESPI2040: Space for Prosperity, Peace and Future Generations policy vision and in our feedback, Europe has all the prerequisites to develop into a full space power, by bringing together, federating and developing the excellence of its European, national and industrial capacities. However, what is missing is a clear political will and a whole-of-Europe vision beyond the perceived bounds of space systems, which would precipitate policy impact.

To date, European space policy and programmatic action are mostly concerned with space capabilities, such as satellites and launchers, and less so with the policy impact of space and the foundations that enable steps towards acquiring Space Power status. Policy impact includes efforts to integrate space into other policy sectors, including security and defence, and climate, while the Foundation layer focuses on building the required environment for reinforced industrial competitiveness, scientific and technological excellence, innovation, talent, and financing.

The EU Space Programme represents the largest EU investment in space and a considerable share (roughly 20%) of the overall European public space expenditure. The MFF evaluation is therefore an important step in calibrating the programme’s impact under the current MFF envelope and preparing the next MFF, where ESPI believes the EU Space Programme should receive a further boost in funding. In this context, this contribution does not focus on existing (and planned) capabilities, but rather on key identified priorities that go beyond the current perimeter. The capabilities addressed include:

  • Space for security and defence;
  • Market creation for space services;
  • Space safety and sustainability;
  • Directed innovation policy and growth;
  • International relations; and
  • Europe as a space power.

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