For a Common European Space Policy

Resolution submitted by JEF Political Commission 3: External Affairs and Global Governance.
Adopted by the Federal Committee in Luxembourg on 10 April 2022.

While the EU is at the forefront of many space activities such as Earth observation, navigation and space science, it is notably behind in the increasingly strategic areas of space exploration. Therefore, JEF Europe calls for a common agenda to equip the EU and its Member States with the resources and capabilities for the acquisition of an autonomous manned space access capability.

JEF Europe,

  • Welcoming the EU’s commitment to the creation of the Galileo global positioning system (GPS) and the two new flagship initiatives to promote secure satellite connectivity and Space Traffic Management (STM) and calls for adequate funding to maintain and improve the system;
  • Supporting the focus on space contribution to achieving climate neutrality outlined in the Matosinhos Manifesto of the European Space Agency (ESA) of November 2021;
  • Approving the goals of the secure satellite connectivity to not only increase connectivity, resilience and security of the European internet infrastructure but also of that in Africa, thereby supporting its development;
  • Underlining the importance of space technology as a strategic industrial sector for the EU, accounting for almost 10% of GDP, and regrets that the space industry has not been considered, let alone chosen, for a Joint Undertaking (JU) in the Horizon programme in the EU’s 2021-2027 Multiannual Framework (MFF);
  • Recalling the conclusions of the “Space Summit 2022”, which laid the foundations for a historic acceleration of the European role in the exploitation of space, in particular, to unlock the untapped potential of EU industries;
  • Recalling the main provisions of the Outer Space Treaty of which 25 EU Member States are signatories, in particular, the prohibition of military activities on celestial bodies and of the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in outer space;
  • Recognizing the crucial importance of space exploration and research in microgravity as an investment with high returns in terms of the creation of new industries, development of new R&D techniques, new knowledge and techniques across the STEM field of research with important and tangible down-to-earth applications as already seen, for instance, in the medical field;
  • Noting that the EU cannot yet achieve true autonomous access to space as there is no European production of rockets and space transportation.

Therefore, JEF Europe,

  1. Encourages the European Commission to develop an ever-closer partnership with private actors and European companies in the space industry, able to compete with the space industry in the USA and China;
  2. Calls on the EU institutions for an increased allocation of resources in research and development programmes to better integrate education and training with investment in boosting the European space industry;
  3. Urges the Member States and the Member States and the European Union to increase the ESA and European Union Space Agency (EUSPA) budgets respectively and respect the Convention stating that it can only participate in projects that have a peaceful purpose;
  4. Encourages European States to create new research programs and develop further cooperation with global allies on space technology including the development of micro satellites in the pursuit of improving EU cyber security;
  5. Recommends that the ESA and EUSPA engage in close collaboration to promote the development of manned space exploration capabilities to ensure free and autonomous access to Low Earth Orbit with minimal reliance on foreign organisations and hardware;
  6. Also calls for the appropriate deployment of the technology and know-how generated within European defence mechanisms;
  7. Supports the European Commission’s extension of the Copernicus and Galileo programmes and is confident that they provide a good opportunity for international cooperation with partners such as NASA, CSA and JAXA;
  8. Calls on all missing Member States to become signatories to the Outer Space Treaty and become members of the ESA;
  9. Demands that the EU and its Member States refrain from taking part in a spatial race between powers but focus to the extent possible on collaboration based on our values and the combined global benefit that can be achieved.