Visit of students to DG GROW on space affairs

On 19 February 2019, nine students of the student association European Security and Defence Network organised a visit to the DG GROW (Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) of the European Commission. The students were generously welcomed to receive a presentation on latest developments of the EU Space Policy, in particular on the two flagship programmes Galileo and Copernicus.

Head of J2 Unit Ms. Paraskevi PAPANTONIOU spoke on the state of the art of Galileo. She presented the development of the programme and highlighted its numerous applications, which range from positioning and navigation to agriculture and rescue operations, and she stressed the increasing cooperation efforts with other GNSS providers to enhance compatibility and interoperability of GNSS systems.

Acting Head of I3 Unit Ms. Dinka DINKOVA, I3 Team Leader Mr. Julien TURPIN (both in the picture) and I3 Policy Officer Mr. Stefano LA TERRA BELLA presented Copernicus, which is establishing an autonomous, high quality and wide range Earth observation system. They presented the articulated structure of the programme, which comprises six different types of satellites, and its current and future applications, which range from climate change and monitoring of sea and land exploitation to emergency and security.

Finally, EEAS Senior Space Policy Officer Mr. Petr HAVLIK was also invited in the meeting to deliver a presentation on the EU’s approach to space security, safety and sustainability. In his presentation, he stressed the EU’s priorities, objectives and activities in its external action on space matters, especially in the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

The students interacted with questions which focused on the future applications for defence and security, on the digital market linked to space-based technologies, and on the institutional relations of the EU with other relevant space actors.