EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin and European Space Agency (ESA) Director Jean-Jacques Dordain were on hand to unveil the highly anticipated White Paper on European Space Policy on 11 November 2003 in Brussels. The document, entitled ‘Space: a new European frontier for an expanding Union’, represents the most ambitious action plan ever conceived for space activities in Europe.
“The development and exploitation of Europe’s capabilities in satellite communications, global positioning and earth observation will have important social, economic and commercial benefits for all of us,” said Busquin. “The Space White Paper is the result of one of the most extensive consultations ever conducted in the research and technology sector, and the final results show that policy makers and citizens alike strongly support a more active role for the EU in space.”
Space technologies and applications are now widely seen as key elements in support of EU policies and objectives, from the environment to agriculture to information technologies to defence and security. The Space White Paper makes specific and concrete recommendations for guaranteeing Europe’s independent access to space, enhancing space technology, promoting space exploration, attracting young people into careers in science and engineering, strengthening European space science and fostering competitiveness.