On June 22nd 2021 the new European Space Programme for the period 2021-2027 was launched.
This marks an important step for research and innovation activities in the space sector, supporting Europe to reach its space ambitions. The new Programme has the largest space budget ever for the EU (over €14 billion), aiming to modernise the EU space approach, anticipate future challenges, enhance access to space and boost the competitiveness and leadership of the EU space industry. Earth Observation is also at the core of the new Programme, being the delivery of accurate and reliable Earth Observation data, information and services one the objectives to be met.
An important element of the new space programme is the newly established European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), the user-oriented operational Agency of the EU Space Programme, contributing to sustainable growth, security and safety of the European Union. Thanks to the introduction of this body, the European space policy can count on a modernised and agile governance structure, within the Financial Framework Partnership Agreement, with the Commission, ESA and EUSPA working together, with clear roles and responsibilities, for the joint and effective implementation of the European space agenda.
The new ambitious Programme lays the foundations for strengthening the position of the European Union in space, thus producing important advances in terms of industrial leadership, security, safety and sustainable development of the Union, with positive benefits on the daily life of European citizens.
The challenges are many and the time to act is now. As highlighted by Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, in his speech at the launch event of the Programme: “We need to be innovative and go fast, as the global space race is not going to slow down.”