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EU Council Gives Final Approval for Secure Connectivity

IRIS² artist impression. as the EU Council gives approval. Credit: ESA

Ibadan, 9 March 2023. – The EU Council has given its final approval for the EU’s secure connectivity program for 2023-2027 by adopting a regulation on it. The program sets goals for the EU to deploy an EU satellite constellation called ‘IRIS²’ (Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite).

IRIS² will provide ultra-fast (low latency) and highly secure communication services by 2027. The security of these communications will depend on advanced encryption technologies, including quantum cryptography, a method that uses the properties of quantum mechanics to secure and transmit data in a way that will prevent hacking.

Furthermore, Governments will benefit from this space-based communication system for services like the protection of critical infrastructure, surveillance, and support for external action or crisis management, thereby helping to improve the EU’s resilience and sovereignty. It will also contribute to the EU’s digital transition and global gateway strategy as it can offer secure connectivity over geographical areas of strategic interest beyond the European borders, such as the Arctic region or Africa.

The program reinforces the competitiveness of EU satellite communication services through an innovative project led by the EU Agency for the Space Program (EUSPA) and involving a range of partners, including the member states, the European space agency (ESA), and private companies.

Following the Council’s approval today of the European Parliament’s position, the Presidents of the European Parliament and the Council will sign it. Consequently, the Council will publish the regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union, with the regulation entering into force on the third day following its publication.

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