Wednesday 26 October, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall was in Brussels for a one-day gathering dedicated to space and in particular the European space strategy alongside the key players in Europe’s space sector. The aim was to present the European space strategy and sign the first Joint Statement on Shared Vision and Goals for the Future of Europe in Space by the European Union and ESA.
The gathering was marked by speeches by space industry representatives and start-ups on the theme of “Fostering a competitive and innovative European space sector”, one of the key objectives of the European space strategy that sets out four priorities: boosting the socio-economic benefits of space, supporting the competitiveness of European industry, strengthening Europe’s strategic independence and making it a world-class space player.
Jean-Yves Le Gall hailed the European space strategy document that is Europe’s response to the NewSpace movement in the United States, the arrival of emerging nations and the seismic shifts now underway in the space sector, and the joint EU/ESA statement that sets out a true political vision for spacefaring Europe, articulated both in the European space strategy adopted today and in the ESA Director General’s proposal, together laying the foundation for decisions to be taken by ministers in December.
On behalf of the ESA Council, Jean-Yves Le Gall thanked the European Commission for the excellent work accomplished, notably Maros Šefčovič, Vice-President for Energy Union at the European Commission, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, in charge of the Commission’s space policy, Lowri Evans, Director General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), and ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Wörner.
In his speech, Jean-Yves Le Gall declared: “the main challenge of translating this strategy into actual programmes that will have a tangible impact on European citizens’ lives is still ahead of us. The stakes are high, but they are worth pursuing, since space is Europe’s finest achievement.”
Thierry Mandon, Secretary of State in charge of Higher Education and Research, expressed his “satisfaction with this first European space strategy. Advances notably in securing Europe’s independent access to space, and therefore Ariane 6, are key to France’s continued efforts driving Europe’s space programme.”