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State Secretary Lars Jacob Hiim participated at the first ever “Space Council”.

 Date:30/11/2004

Ministers representing the European Union (EU) and/or European Space Agency (ESA) Member States met for the first time in Brussels on 26 November to jointly discuss the development of a coherent overall European space programme.

The Space Council shall coordinate and facilitate cooperative activities between the European Community and ESA through their Framework Agreement, which entered into force in May this year.

 

The EC-ESA Framework Agreement has two main aims.

  • The development of an overall European Space Policy,
  • Establish a common basis and appropriate practical arrangements for efficient and mutually beneficial cooperation between ESA and the European Community

 

State Secretary Lars Jacob Hiim in his intervention underscored the strategic importance of space for Europe and Norway, both regarding competitiveness as such and for fulfilling the needs of an advanced society for monitoring security and environment.  Hiim said an industrial policy is needed that supports the willingness of the countries to invest in space, and that one should bear in mind that space is not a commercial market in most areas. He concluded by pin pointing that Norway is a substantial user of space-based services due to a large and scarcely populated territory and vast ocean areas, and that Norway welcome the progress the European Space Programme represents in the definition of the European Space Policy.

 

Following this meeting, the EU Competitiveness Council on the one hand and the ESA Ministerial Council on the other formally adopted the orientations set out below:

 

"First orientations on the preparation of the European Space Programme

 

1. Space activities are acknowledged as being of strategic importance for their contribution to the implementation of a wide range of European policies.

 

2. It is therefore essential to assess the resources necessary and to utilise the available resources in an efficient and effective way at all levels, so that efforts are complementary and avoid duplication, and so that the offer of space based services and infrastructures meet the demand from users, such as the European Union’s policies, the Member States' policies and the European citizens.

 

3. The specificity of the space sector requires the continued attention of public authorities and the determination of appropriate industrial policy principles to respond to the above.

 

4. The first joint and concomitant meeting of the Council of the European Union and of the Council of ESA at ministerial level ("Space Council") established under the EC-ESA Framework Agreement was an important opportunity to gather twenty seven States, members of the European Union and members of the European Space Agency, to assess the issues above and to discuss the coherent and progressive development of an overall European Space Policy.

5. The European Space Programme will constitute a common, inclusive and flexible framework on the basis of which activities and measures would be taken by the European Union, the European Space Agency and other stakeholders (e.g. national organisations).

 

6. It is advisable to start the process of preparing a European Space Programme so as to define its conceptual basis for a “Space Council” session planned for end 2005. This should be without prejudice to the outcome of the on-going discussions of the European Union Financial Perspectives 2007-2013.

 

7. It is foreseen to hold the second “Space Council” session in Spring 2005 for addressing preliminary elements of the European Space Programme. This second session is expected, in particular to:

  • Recognise and identify priorities of the European Space Programme, including estimation of possible costs
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of the EU, ESA and other stakeholders of the European Space Programme as well as the relevant funding sources
  • Identify industrial policy principles and funding principles related to the implementation of the European Space Programme

 

8. The Joint Secretariat will develop, in consultation with Member States, and in particular through the High Level Space Policy Group pursuant to article 8 of the Framework Agreement, the above mentioned preliminary elements of the European Space Programme."

 Gard Titlestad, 30.11.04
gard.titlestad@mfa.no



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