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Regions bring space down to Earth

From satellite navigation to Earth observation programmes, space policy brings tangible benefits to EU citizens while helping boost investments, jobs and growth

Members of the European Committee of the Regions have given their support to Andres Jaadla (ET/ALDE) by adopting his opinion Space Strategy for Europe.
The CoR is in line with the European Commission vision on space published in November 2016. Yet it asks to further develop its regional dimension so to bring space technologies closer to citizens. Space technologies, data and services ensure communication, surveillance, border and security control, rapid response to natural disasters and support for agriculture, fisheries and transport management.

Space technologies, data and services have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. In Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), space technology allows information exchange in real time. In digital services, it leads to continuous high-resolution surveillance systems. Space satellites advantage rapid responses to natural disasters and contribute to better urban administration and public transport management. Space-related capabilities and services play an important role in terms of European defence and security as well as in environmental monitoring, the protection of biodiversity and the fight against global warming.

‘Space policy can help boost jobs, growth and investment in Europe while it pushes the boundaries of science and research’ said rapporteur Andres Jaadla. The member of the Rakvere city council added: ‘we must develop the regional dimension as to bring space benefits closer to citizens. The EU space policy and strategy does however need to better convince society of all the potential benefits. Users should be at the centre of Europe’s space policy’.

_Rapporteur Jaadla added ‘Local and regional authorities have the competence and the will to be involved in the implementation of EU’s space policy. While many regions have joined the Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies (NEREUS), pointing to the growing importance of space for regional economies, these actions need to be highlighted more and foster integrative partnerships between civil society, business, public institutions and the science community.’_Rapporteur Jaadla called for the space strategy to be further interlinked and integrated into other EU policies, such as the Urban Agenda, smart cities and climate policy.

Andres Jaadla added: ‘education and public awareness in connection with better trained specialists, more engineers and scientists should empower the European public to play a central role in developing the complex systems of tomorrow, both on earth as well as in the skies with satellites, through programmes such as Galilei and Copernicus.”

Referring to the Copernicus programme, the European Committee of the Regions is keen in proving support for its development and implementation. The CoR proposes to provide a full permanent member to be part of the programme’s user forum. ‘Such direct participation would feed the forum with the perspective of local actors in terms of the use of Copernicus data’ said Andres Jaadla.

“The CoR can be a pivotal partner in connecting the European Commission, member states, the European Space Agency, academics, local governments and users so to build new partnerships with other EU policies”, concluded Andres Jaadla.

Notes to editors

  • 26 November 2016. A space strategy for Europe . Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic And Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
  • Contact: David Crous | | +32 (0) 470 88 10 37