Belgium has long been an important player in the European Space sector. In 2023, it was the 6th largest contributor to the European Space Agency’s budget (at 5.3% – €260.0 M) and it has a healthy and well-established EO industry, coming in 9th for both the number of EO employees per country and the number of EO companies established per country according to the latest EARSC Industry Survey.
Starting on 1 January, and until 30 June 2024, Belgium will hold, for the thirteenth time, the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). At a time when Europe is looking at strengthening their strategic position and autonomy through the EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence, as well as working towards an EU Space Law to ensure an EU-wide approach to security, safety and sustainability in space, Europe’s ambitions for 2024 are certainly high.
Building on the work carried out by the Spanish presidency in the second half of 2023, the Belgian Presidency will focus on six key priorities: defending the rule of law, democracy and unity; strengthening EU competitiveness; pursuing a just and green transition; reinforcing the EU’s social and health agenda; protecting people and borders; and promoting a global Europe.
More specifically regarding space, the Belgian presidency will focus on ensuring the cyber resilience of space infrastructure, mitigating climate change, facilitating the implementation of the EU space strategy for security and defence, and supporting new space actors. The mid-term review of the EU Space Programme will also provide an opportunity for the Presidency to evaluate the progress made and lay the groundwork for the future deployment of the programme.
Other important points for the next six months include: supporting the European Commission to collectively enhance the resilience of space systems and services in the EU; further contributing to the reinforcement of EU-ESA relations; securing Europe’s autonomous access to space; resilience of space systems and services; and guaranteeing open EU strategic autonomy.
But what does this concretely mean for the European EO industry? How will the Belgian presidency support the EU EO industry? What opportunities are there for the EU EO industry? How can the EU EO industry contribute/engage on space with the Belgian presidency team, and vice-versa, to make the most out of the next 6 months?
These are some of the questions that our host Geoff Sawyer (EARSC Strategic Advisor and former Secretary General) and Julien Béclard (First Counsellor on Space, Permanent Representation of Belgium to the European Union) will address in this EOcafe.
Registration: The webinar is open to all. Registration is free but compulsory.
Please note this is a virtual event!
EOcafe is part of a series of EARSC meetings that offer timely, relevant, and practical information on a broad variety of topics related to the EO sector. Join us every two weeks to discuss and network while enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.
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If you have any questions, and/or you want to know more about the EOcafe, and/or you want to share an idea about a future EOcafe, please contact Tanya Walker (email@example.com).