Ibadan, 18 December 2023. –The Council of the European Union (EU Council) have adopted conclusions on ‘Space traffic management: state of play’. The conclusions address the challenges of an increasingly congested orbital space and the need for a common approach to ensure a safe and sustainable European space policy. As a result, the conclusions stress the urgency of developing an EU space traffic management (STM) approach, which will contribute to space safety, sustainability and security, and welcome the progress made so far.
The conclusions also highlight the importance of taking into account both civil and military space traffic management needs. To that end, they call on the Commission, the European External Action Service and the European Defence Agency to work with member states to ensure that defence and security aspects are given due consideration while stressing the civil nature of the EU space programs.
In addition, the conclusions emphasize the role of the EU space surveillance and tracking (SST) system, which operates a network of ground-based sensors that survey and track space objects and calls for the development of services for space debris mitigation. The EU SST system will be fundamental to enhancing Europe’s strategic autonomy; as a result, the conclusions call on member states and industry to enhance existing SST services and encourage R&D in this area.
Speaking on the resolve, Diana Morant Ripoll, Spanish Minister for Science, Innovation and Universities, said, “Access to space will be fundamental to our open strategic autonomy. The conclusions adopted today show the way to ensuring a European presence in the orbits of our planet in a safe, secure and sustainable way.”