The European Commission will present a space defense plan in March



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The European Commission will present a strategy to bolster EU security and defense efforts in space in March, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Tuesday, as Russia’s war in Ukraine heightened tensions in space.

Last year’s invasion of Moscow led Europe and Russia to call off their previously close cooperation in Voiddelaying a host of missions and affecting European efforts to launch satellites.

“In the current geopolitical context, we need to strengthen the Union’s strategic position in order to be able to defend our interests, protect our space systems and services, and become a more assertive space power,” Breton said at the opening of the European Space Conference in Brussels.

European Union Foreign Policy Prime Minister Josep Borrell has called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “wake-up call,” saying the bloc needs to examine “how important space assets and services are” for joint European action.

Borrell said that just under 10 percent of the roughly 5,500 satellites currently orbiting the world are operated by militaries.

“But many others are dual-use and provide important information to support our security and defense,” he added.

Breton said that the European space strategy will be based on four pillars.

He explained that the first aims to strengthen “the resilience and security framework for the European Union’s national and commercial space systems,” while the second seeks to strengthen the bloc’s ability to respond to threats.

The third pillar, he added, is to increase “the use of space for security and defense operations” through programs that monitor Earth and monitor space traffic, as well as increase cooperation with partners such as NATO.

The final pillar, he said, will be the implementation of “European Space Law” to set “common rules on the safety, security and sustainability of our systems”.

Breton said that 10 of the 27 member states of the European Union have already begun to regulate their space operations.

He warned that the EU risked having “divergent national rules” that could have an impact on competitiveness, industry and Safety.

© 2023 AFP

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