The German Presidency of the EU Council takes place in a challenging environment, which is unprecedented. The space portfolio is not only coping with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis but also requires the adoption of budgetary and regulatory provisions to launch the next MFF in less than two months from now.

Our BDLI SPACE TALK “Quo vadis European Space after the COVID-19 pandemic? – The future of European Space in view of the German EU Council Presidency” on November, 30th, therefore took stock of the achievements of the German Presidency so far and provided perspectives on how the European space sector will develop and regain its strength. The German Federal Ministry of Economics´ initiative “Establishing key principles for the global space economy” provided important impetus for European space activities and principles and, therefore, was the basis for our event.

Our distinguished panelists, namely the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, the chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, MEP, the Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy Thomas Jarzombek, MP, and BDLI Vice-President Space Marco Fuchs, agreed on a number of important next steps for space in Europe and discussed very ambitiously the following topics:

  1. It is important that Europe discusses a new flagship program for secure broadband connectivity, in addition to Galileo and Copernicus.  Such a programme would not only further strengthen Europe’s resilience and make a major contribution to increasingly important secure communication, but also strengthen the European economy. Quantum technology is a key aspect.
  2. European sovereignty also includes independent European access to space. This ensures that we can place our diverse space systems independently in space, at any orbit and at any time. Europe should therefore, as Germany has done, advocate a European preference for launchers.
  3. More and more players around the world are recognizing the potential of space and are becoming active. In order to create a level-playing field, a global regulation for space activities should get into focus. This includes the topic of space traffic management, as being proposed by the German initiative “Establishing key principles for the global space economy”.
  4. A group of new actors is categorized under the term of “New Space”. This is an important innovation factor in space and demonstrates how satellite data, for example from the Copernicus satellites which measure environmental factors, are being used and commercialized. While this area is growing, it is necessary to create European standards and regulations for New Space.
  5. And finally, all this requires the institutions that shape Europe’s activities in space. The European Commission and the European Space Agency are the central players here. It is crucial to continue the successful cooperation for the benefit of the European people and the economy, based on a division of tasks between the institutions. 

The BDLI SPACE TALK was moderated by Prof Kai-Uwe Schrogl and was organized by Nicole Thalhofer, Head of Space Department of the German Aerospace Industries Association BDLI and her team. The BDLI is the German voice of the AeroSpace industry. With all our member companies, from small and medium-sized companies to global OEM’s, we represent civil aviation, defense as well as space.