Institutional challenges for space activities in Europe

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The decision of the EU in 1999 to cooperate with ESA in the development of Galileo marked a first decisive step in cooperation between these two communities. Current work on space programmes beyond Galileo, such as the Global Monitoring of Environment and Security programme (GMES), shows the need for clear institutional solutions and responses to what should become more than a mere framework space agenda. If Europe is to fulfil its space ambitions and adopt a common approach, institutional competences and abilities require clarification and formulation. The Commission in its recently published White Paper lays out an action plan designed to support space technology and activities within the EU. The EU is seen as providing the most appropriate political forum alongside optimal investment conditions for the space industry. Space technologies and applications will in turn benefit social, economic and commercial potential within the EU. If Europe wants to pursue its space ambitions effectively, as postulated in the White Paper, institutional challenges will have to be tackled sooner rather than later. Whilst recognizing current limitations on the EU's competence to legislate specifically on space matters, the White Paper seeks to address primary space issues and look toward a future European governmental agenda that includes space activities. This paper analyses the current legal framework governing the relationship between the respective inter-governmental institutional agency (The European Space Agency) and the specific supranational community of the European Union. It argues that ad hoc models of support for specific programmes, such as the establishment of the Joint Undertaking for the Galileo programme, serve only as an interim step towards realigning competence within the institutional landscape to facilitate and benefit Europe's future activities in space.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication55th International Astronautical Congress 2004 : Proceedings of a meeting held 4-8 October 2004, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Number of pages13
Place of Publication9781604236477
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Publication date10.2004
Publication statusPublished - 10.2004
Externally publishedYes
Event55th International Astronautical Congress 2004 - IAC 2004 - Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 04.10.200408.10.2004
Conference number: 55

    Research areas

  • Law