Ministers in charge of space activities representing the Member States of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union who convened in Brussels for the Seventh Space Council unanimously endorsed a resolution that called for the necessary actions to deliver a space strategy that would enable economic growth, respond to public policy objectives, and develop the vocations of science and technology in Europe.

Ministers emphasised that the flagship programmes Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) remain the priorities for the EU in space and identified the key decisions to be taken in these areas over the coming months. In the areas of Global Climate Change and Security, the ministers asked the European Commission and the Director General of ESA to collaborate with the Member States and other relevant players in Europe to identify how to fill gaps in existing space capabilities.

Ministers also recognised the need to move towards establishing a Space Situational Awareness capability for the protection of Europe’s space assets. They stressed the need for Europe to voice a single European position in international discussions on space exploration.

ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain emphasised the progress that had been achieved in space missions since the previous Space Council meeting in May 2009, commenting: “The entry into force of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, with a specific space competence, is good news for space, good news for Europe and good news for ESA. It allows us not to do the same thing differently but to do more, together.”