At its last plenary session, held on 17 October 2018, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion aiming to improve the EU space programme's outcomes and raise its profile. The EESC supports the EU's efforts to remain a major independent space power, but calls for more investment in research, start-ups and business incubators as well as for a consistent application of the "European preference" principle. Clear emphasis should be placed on space mining research and the benefits that space activities could provide in terms of sustainable development.
Space holds huge promises for European society. Data from satellites can be used to provide services that can dramatically improve European citizens' everyday lives. The European Commission's new space strategy goes a long way in charting the future course for the civil use of space in Europe, says the EESC in a recently adopted opinion, but should go even further...
The EESC has been always involved in space issues and adopted many opinions in this field. In 2014 the Committee decided to organise an initiative on space to identify the most suitable means to achieve the priorities he has set out in its opinions.
The "Space and Society: bridging the missing links" project aims at helping to generate and maintain political support for current and future space programmes on both EU and national levels; bringing the attention of a larger audience and downstream stakeholders to the announced benefits from the European space policy as well as defining new and concrete actions to be implemented in this context.