EU space policy should focus on civilian possibilities

Space technologies are instrumental to safeguarding our planet, writes Constanze Krehl.

By Constanze Krehl

Constanze Krehl (S&D, DE) is a member of Parliament’s Regional Development Committee

10 Mar 2016

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.


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