- recognises the importance for Europe of having an autonomous space surveillance system in order to protect its space infrastructure and ensure the safety of launches, and welcomes the Commission's initiative;
- is aware of the difficulty of finding options that Member States agree on and sees the Commission's proposal as a first and important step towards more ambitious goals for collaboration;
- considers that funding provided for SST (Space surveillance and tracking) operations in the seven years in which the service is operational must be used, as a matter of priority, to create the initial embryo of an independent European capacity into which some of the capacity currently belonging to the defence departments of the Member States could be transferred;
- recommends keeping criteria for access to the programme open and explaining them in greater detail. It is crucial that participation in the programme be open not only to countries that already have an independent capacity, but to all those that can make data processing competences available to partners.
Other relevant EESC opinions:
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