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Emmanuel Pajot

EARSC Secretary General

Welcome to the first eoMAG of 2023!

In these last days of January, I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. The President of the European Commission, Ms von der Leyen defined 2023 as the European year of skills. Skills are a critical topic for companies, and the whole sector, to integrate new approaches to develop new capabilities. 2023 will also be the year of Security & Defense with potential dual use of assets, as mentioned several times at the Space Policy conference in Brussels this week. But let's not look too fast at the future and take time to appreciate the Earth Observation Downstream Industry's dynamism in the last quarter of 2022.

Launched one year ago, the Green Deal Working Group has been very active, producing numerous content and interacting with stakeholders to better promote EO's role in supporting future regulations. In September, the European Parliament accepted the amendments proposed by EARSC, and in December, the European Council voted on a new law to fight global deforestation and forest degradation. This law will require certification based on satellite imagery and GPS coordinates for commodities such as palm oil, cocoa, coffee, beef, and rubber to ensure their origin can be accurately determined.

In October, the European Commission launched a new scheme to enrich the Copernicus Contributing missions, the Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS). EARSC advocated for such an anchor tenant mechanism to benefit new EU data actors and service providers/users.   

The ESA Council at the Ministerial level (CM22) took place end of November with a budget increase of 17%. ESA will implement specific actions to strengthen Europe's commercial EO Sector, including a dedicated program to prepare the integration of future sentinel capabilities.

No doubt, 2023 will be intense for the Earth Observation Industry. It is crucial to provide an accurate picture of the state and health of our Industry to allow stakeholders to design proper support. The EARSC Industry survey is a key tool for this purpose. If you are a European private company, complete the survey and support its wide distribution!

Happy new year, and I hope to see you in person soon!