Europe Unveils Space Policy White Paper
The much-anticipated European white paper on space policy was released this week by the European Space Agency and the European Commission.
The white paper has a number of policy recommendations, including:
- putting additional resources into space infrastructures and applications which will make a contribution towards satisfying the needs of European citizens;
- consolidating the existing scientific and technical basis of space activities; and
- updating the institutional structure to give the European Union new responsibilities for funding and co-ordinating activities within an enlarged space policy structure.
The EU estimates that the market for satellite navigation services and derived products around the world could reach 100 billion euros ($118 billion) by 2010, creating 40,000 skilled jobs in Europe. Additionally, the worldwide market for space applications is rapidly expanding and could reach an estimated 350 billion euros ($412 billion) turnover by 2010.
To implement the white paper’s recommendations, the European Commission is proposing three funding levels for space activities going forward: an aggressive 4.6 percent annual growth rate over the 2003 funding level of 5.38 billion euros ($6.32 billion); a more modest 3.4 percent annual growth rate; and a conservative 2.3 percent annual growth rate.