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Essay Competition (18th ESPI Autumn Conference)

As part of this year’s Autumn Conference, the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) has the pleasure to invite students and young professionals to participate in an essay competition on the topic “Scaling European Space Capabilities for Security & Defence: From Ambition to Implementation”.


To apply for this essay competition, you must be:

  • A student or a young professional under 35 years old
  • A citizen of a European Union (EU), European Space Agency (ESA), or European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) Member State.

Essay Guidelines

The essay should be written in alignment with the 18th ESPI Autumn Conference topic. In that regard, it should address one of the following thematic areas:

Re-assessment of Governmental Military Postures and Doctrines

Context – Recognizing the critical and complementary role of space in defence activities, nations worldwide are increasingly integrating the space component into their military frameworks. This shift is largely reflected in the establishment of space commands, the transformation of military postures, and the development of new doctrines.

Increasing Access to Counterspace Capabilities

Context – The proliferation of counterspace capabilities has significantly transformed the strategic landscape. A greater number of actors have gained access to these technologies, in various forms. The intensified international developments in counterspace endeavours heightens the vulnerability of critical space systems, and hence profoundly impacts the operational environment.

Integration of Commercial Capabilities for Security & Defence Endeavours

Context – The reliability of armed forces on critical commercial space services raises new stakes within the space sector. It sets new challenges regarding the protection of space assets, national and private, and responsibility-sharing schemes between public and private sector entities.


The essay submission should meet the following requirements:

  • No more than 2,000 words in length (excluding table of contents, citations, and bibliography)
  • Submitted as a word document (formatted in Times New Roman, 12-point font)
  • A consistent style of citation should be used
  • Submitted before Sunday 18 August 2024, 23:59 CEST
  • Please include your CV with your essay submission


Two winning essays will be selected, and each author will receive:

  • Free registration for both days of the Autumn Conference (October 1st and 2nd, 2024)
  • Coverage of travel expenses up to €300
  • One-night hotel accommodation in Vienna on October 1st, 2024


DEADLINE TO SUBMIT IS SUNDAY 18 AUGUST 2024, 23:59 CET (Winners will be announced early-September)

Submissions should be sent to  lucas.bersegol@espi.or.at.

Additional information regarding the 18th annual ESPI Autumn Conference can be found here.

The Essay Competition flyer can be found here.


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