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EP: EU space policy should focus on civilian possibilities

@ The Parliament. Written by Constanze Krehl on 10 March 2016 in Opinion. Space technologies are instrumental to safeguarding our planet, writes Constanze Krehl.

With the Galileo and Copernicus programmes, the development of the EU’s space capabilities is heading in the right direction.

However, further development of the European space programme must be addressed at all levels.

As opinion rapporteur for the research and industry committee, my focus is on the civilian use of these services.

Civilian possibilities – such as weather observation for the evaluation of climate change, supporting agricultural cultivation for combating famine, but also early detection of natural disasters – are crucial.

The two key objectives of this report are to maintain security, not just here on earth, but also in space. To reach these objectives, we should use technological space systems monitoring the earth’s surface and space surveillance telescope systems in space.

These measures are intended to allow an early detection of dangers from space, for example through near-earth objects, adverse space weather that could pose a threat to our planet, or increasing quantities of space debris. Eliminating and preventing of space debris must be included in the strategy to ensure Europe’s safety.

The EU must strengthen its cooperation with the member states, the European Space Agency and other stakeholders.

About the author

Constanze Krehl (S&D, DE) is Parliament’s industry, research and energy committee opinion rapporteur on space capabilities for European security and defence