The global space defence environment underwent in-depth transformation, and several major announcements were made worldwide at the turn of 2020s. This report analyses the status and on-going developments in these matters and puts in perspective the various options for Europe to face the challenges ahead.
Indeed, reliance on space infrastructures is ever-increasing to support our daily lives and the economy, but also to conduct security and defence operations in a tense diplomatic environment. Therefore, the need to protect space systems has become critical. Europe has long been a key player in the space sector, but reflection on the protection of space assets has long been insufficient.
The report presents how the strategies, operational organisations and capabilities of major non-European space powers are giving rise to a riskier environment for European assets in orbit. Frameworks for the management of space defence issues in Europe are also described in detail, be it at national, intergovernmental or supranational levels, in order to better understand their benefits and limits.
Based on the analysis of the current situation, several suggestions are made to support the reflection of European stakeholders on the way forward: indeed, while future action should be implemented in a cooperative manner, they also need to take into account the key difficulties raised by sovereignty concerns as well as technological and industrial policy considerations.