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EU Space Strategy for Security and Defense Announced by the European Commission

The EU Space Strategy for Security and Defense will tackle space security issues. Credit: EU

Ibadan, 13 March 2023. – The European Commission and the High Representative have developed the first-ever EU Space Strategy for Security and Defense in response to identifying Space as a strategic domain in the Strategic Compass. In the current geopolitical context of increasing power competition and intensifying threats, the EU is taking action to protect its space assets, defend its interests, deter hostile activities in Space, and strengthen its strategic posture and autonomy.

The Strategy outlines the counter-space capabilities and main threats in Space that put at risk space systems and their ground infrastructure, building on a common definition of the space domain. To increase the common understanding of threats across Member States, the High Representative will prepare a classified annual space threat landscape analysis at the EU level, drawing on Member States´ intelligence.

The Strategy proposes actions to strengthen the resilience and protection of space systems and services in the EU. For this purpose, the Commission will:

  • Consider proposing an EU Space Law to provide a common framework for security, safety, and sustainability in Space that would ensure a consistent and EU-wide approach;
  • Set up an Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (ISAC) to raise awareness and facilitate the exchange of best practices among commercial and relevant public entities on resilience measures for space capabilities;
  • Launch preparatory work to ensure long-term EU autonomous access to Space, addressing, in particular, the security and defense needs; and
  • Enhance the technological sovereignty of the EU by reducing strategic dependencies and ensuring the security of supply for Space and defense in close coordination with the European Defense Agency and the European Space Agency.

In addition, the strategy proposes to expand the existing space threat response mechanism, which is already in use for Galileo, to all space systems and services in the EU. Furthermore, it proposes appropriate access to space domain awareness information through relevant national space commands to characterize inappropriate behaviors in orbit and protect EU assets.

The strategy also purports to launch two pilots. As a result, the first will be to deliver initial space domain awareness services building upon the capacities of Member States. Likewise, the other will be for a new earth observation governmental service as part of the evolution of Copernicus and complementing existing assets.

Speaking on the Strategy, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, said, “For the first time, we are putting forward a strategy that will pull together all our tools to protect EU space assets and ensure that everyone can benefit from space services.”

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