Report: Towards EU Leadership in the Space Sector Through Open Strategic Autonomy (2023)

Source: Towards EU Leadership in the Space Sector Through Open Strategic Autonomy

Space is one of the fastest developing economic sectors. Its annual average growth rate between 2005 and 2017 was 6.7 %: double the figure for annual global economic growth in the same period. Although the European space sector is well placed on the global scene, it is facing a series of challenges that are hindering the full development of its potential. In particular, despite the fact that aggregated EU Member States’ annual spending on civil space operations amounts to around €10 billion, the share of joint EU public funding for space is only €6.5 billion, which is significantly lower than the budgets in the US or in China.

Looking at the challenges faced by the EU space sector, this ‘cost of non-Europe’ (CoNE) report therefore studies possibilities for gains and/or the realisation of a public common good and efficiency gains through budgetary spending and action at EU level. It attempts to identify areas that are expected to benefit from deeper EU integration and for which the EU added value is potentially significant. More specifically, the aim is to establish the cost of non-Europe in the space sector and addresses the following questions:

  • What is the current state of play, and what are the existing challenges that prevent the EU from gearing its space policy, while strengthening EU open strategic autonomy in ensuring EU safe access to space?
  • What are the adverse impacts of the current challenges in EU regulatory and budgetary action at EU level?
  • What are the options for action at EU level that could address the challenges identified, what are their potential costs and benefits, and which potential EU-level interventions could have the highest European added value?