On 30 November 2015, Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, invited Member States of the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA) to discuss cooperation between the two organisations.
In its dual role as President of the Council of the European Union and Co-President, together with its Swiss counterpart, of the European Space Agency's Ministerial Council, Luxembourg is in a prime position to promote closer cooperation between the EU and the ESA.
Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, took the opportunity offered by this dual role to restart dialogue at European level and create fresh impetus with a view to increased cooperation between the EU and the European Space Agency.
For the first time, the meeting of Ministers for Space Policy also raised the issue of setting up a mechanism for jointly addressing requirements and terms and conditions for the supply of launchers for institutional space missions. Access to space is an essential element for space activity. Finding ways to guarantee this access under the best possible conditions is a major challenge for Europe.
Applications and services are also an important element of space activity. There lies considerable potential in developing these applications and services in terms of innovation and job creation. The debate focused on the more systematic use of space resources with a view to implementing national and European sectoral policies. Initiatives such as Galileo and Copernicus are only the start of efforts to expand the use of space data and infrastructure.
Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, said: 'Cooperation between the EU, the European Space Agency and their respective Member States is, in my opinion, a key element in developing an ambitious European space policy. The future of European space policy rests on Europe's capacity to bring together all the available resources. An open, inclusive dialogue between the various entities involved will be vital in strengthening Europe's position in this sector.'
Press release issued by the Ministry of the Economy