At a meeting of the fifth Space Council, ministers in charge of space activities within the European Space Agency (ESA) and European Union Member States welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the European Space Policy and identified further priority areas for its implementation.
In particular, the Space Council adopted a Resolution that highlights the significant advances in the two initial priorities and flagship space programmes of the European Space Policy—Galileo and Kopernikus. The Council identified the need to draw up a plan that provides for sustainable operational funding for Kopernikus and welcomed the proposal by the European Commission to start this with a new preparatory action in the preliminary budgets for 2009.
The Resolution also addressed the need to strengthen existing mechanisms for coordinating European expertise and investments in space as well as to set up mechanisms to improve synergies between civil and defence space programmes, respecting the specific requirements of both sectors, including their decision-making competences and finance schemes.
The Space Council recognised the substantial contribution of space, as a high tech R&D domain and through the economic exploitation of its results, to attaining the Lisbon goals and fulfilling the economic, educational, social and environmental ambitions of Europe and the expectations of its citizens.
On space and security, the Space Council highlighted the need to define ways and means to improve the coordination between civil and defence programmes through a structured dialogue among European institutional actors, including ESA.