The annual conference on European space policy started this morning in the capital of the European Union, at the time of Brexit, a new Commission and the negotiation of the next Community budget.
Organized by the Brussels firm Business Bridge Europe and entitled “New Decade, Global Ambitions: Growth, Climate, Security & Defense”, the twelfth annual conference on European space policy is taking place from January 21 to 22 at the Palais d'Egmont in Brussels, Belgium.
The conference brings together parliamentarians and European commissioners, heads of space agencies and manufacturers, to discuss European priorities in space programs — approximately a thousand participants this year, an increase of 10% compared to the previous edition.
The 2020 edition comes on the eve of the vote on the budget of the European Union for the period 2021-2027, after Brexit, and while a new Commission has just been set up (since December 1).
The latter, under the chairmanship of the former German defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed on December 10 a overall budget of €1,087 billion (or (1.07% of the EU’s GNI) of the EU-27.
Over €16 billion at stake over 8 years.
“The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will be voted at the end of this year”, explains a participant. “The issue is to distribute the contributions of the EU Member States, which will represent between 1 and 1.1% of their GNI (the percentage still has to be agreed), by major area of activity of the Commission — and in particular for space and defense. This against the backdrop of the departure of the United Kingdom, which was the fourth main contributor of the EU, and which contributed 9.77% of the budget in 2014”.
Recall that the previous negotiations gave reason to hope for a budget of more than €16 billion for the space sector.