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Germany urges EU to include New Space in its LEO plan

German minister Peter Altmaier. Photo: BMWi

Paris, 23 March 2021. – In the discussion about a public European satellite-based communication system, Germany has urged the European Commission to work closer with the member states.

“The European Commission should make better use of the member states’ competences to set the direction and the objectives of such a system,” the German ministers for economy and digital infrastructure, Peter Altmaier and Andreas Scheuer, wrote to EU Commissioner Thierry Breton.

A “balanced approach” should integrate commercial and competitive elements, the two ministers said and opted for a second study – besides the feasibility study that is already underway with an industry consortium – which would allow small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups to contribute. The ministers suggest a fix participation quota of 25 per cent in related public tenders for those enterprises.

Besides “the world of New Space”, the technical expertise of the European Space Agency (ESA) should also be used intensively, the ministers wrote. Together with the European space industry, ESA made “substantial contributions to technological innovation and European leadership”, they wrote.

The ministers offered the Commissioner that Germany intensifies its engagement in the discussion of a space-based and secure European communication system.

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