Pedro Duque chairs the Joint Space Council of the European Union and the European Space Agency

The Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, Pedro Duque, has highlighted the need to consolidate European leadership in space matters, by coordinating the space programs of the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Minister of Science, Innovation and Acting Universities, Pedro Duque, has co-chaired the ninth Joint Space Council of the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA, for its acronym in English).

The Space Council has brought together the European ministers of the sector and the highest authorities of ESA in Brussels, under the title "space as enabler". The meeting takes place in the context of EU Competitiveness Council, in which the ministers have also debated the role of the EU in the global space policy.

The Space Council is a forum that coordinates European space programs, in order to strengthen Europe's position on space, increase its market share and take advantage of the benefits of its research.

This Council was created to coordinate and facilitate the space activities of the European Union and ESA, through a Framework Agreement adopted in 2003, and whose last meeting was held in 2011.

The ninth Joint Space Council of the EU and ESA was held at the initiative of the Ministerial Council of the ESA held in October 2018 in Madrid, under the presidency of Minister Duque. At this meeting, the European ministers unanimously concluded the need to revitalize the Joint Space Council between the EU and ESA.

The continuity of the Space Council, essential for Europe to successfully meet its spatial objectives, is guaranteed: Germany has announced its commitment to organize the 10th Space Council in the second half of 2020, on the occasion of its rotating presidency. The EU.

During his speech in Brussels, Duque stressed the importance of "consolidating Europe's leadership in space matters and implementing the necessary resources to achieve this goal".

Minister Duque also highlighted "the need to ensure the complementarity of public investment in space and the establishment of a clear set of objectives and the best use of existing experience and capabilities to maximize the profitability of investments in space activities through the EU and the ESA ".

The minister added that "developing, maintaining and improving space assets is essential to ensure the services and applications that space provides to society, as well as for the protection of citizens against threats from both Earth and space" .

Space economy

The global space economy reached 309,000 million euros in 2017, growing almost twice as much as the world economy. The European space industry employs more than 230,000 professionals, manufactures a third of the world's satellites and in 2016 reached a sales level of 8,200 million euros, according to Eurospace.

ESA and the European Union provide most of the budget that Europe devotes to space. In particular, in the 2021-2027 period they will jointly allocate more than 40,000 million euros to space activities.

The revitalization of the Space Council will allow managing these European space activities in a coordinated manner.

Spain: European space power

EFESpain has managed to consolidate itself as a European space power, thanks to the progress made in the last decade. Currently, our country is responsible for complete space systems, among which can be highlighted the satellite INGENIO, which will be part of the European constellation Copernicus as a "contributing mission"

The launch of this Spanish Earth observation satellite, managed by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), will go into orbit in the second quarter of 2020. Its purpose is to provide high resolution images that will be used for services of cartography, urban management, agriculture, forest mapping or water management.

In November 2019 the next Ministerial Council of the ESA will take place in Seville, in which the approval of new space programs is expected for an amount of between 10,000 and 14,000 million euros. This may offer new opportunities for the Spanish space sector to lead ambitious European initiatives.

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