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Security in Outer Space: Rising Stakes for Europe

Security in Outer Space and the security of space assets is increasingly crucial as (critical) infrastructure on Earth is increasingly relying on space systems.

The research scope of Security in Outer Space: Rising Stakes for Europe addresses 3 dimensions:

  • Security in Outer Space and other Dimensions of Space Security
  • Security of the Space Infrastructure
  • Security in Operation

Our study investigates the increasing need for Space Security in Europe and policy drivers and explores the threats to the European Space Infrastructure Security divided in 3 categories: (1) Passive Man-Made Threats, (2) Active Man-Made Threats, (3) Natural Threats and Space Environment Hazards.

Furthermore, we analysed the current European approach to space security and considerations for an enhanced role of Europe in security in Outer Space in the future. For the MFF 2021-2027, we draw the following recommendations and considerations:

  • The introduction of a multiannual plan defining clear objectives for the SST which the EC shall endorse as part of its responsibility over the security of the EU space programme.
  • Additional funding from Horizon Europe and other instruments, such as the EDF (in addition to the level of budget included in the EC proposal for 2021-2027) – which will be essential to reach the level of funding necessary to bridge the capability gap through the deployment of additional EU sensors.
  • The avoidance of unnecessary duplication of efforts and foster complementarity to optimise budget efficiency.
  • Working on a clear identification of each parties’ concerns and requirements would certainly support the identification of an appropriate solution accommodating national/European and military/civil perspectives.
  • Enhancing the EU’s role, with specific mandates to reinforce European leadership.
  • A permanent structured cooperation for security in outer space, supported by the EDF and consideration to allow future participation of third-states (UK, U.S.).
  • To favor a greater involvement of private actors could consist in the establishment of an enhanced dialogue with commercial stakeholders, for example in the frame of the preparation of the SSA multiannual plan.

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