Monday

18th Feb 2019

Focus

EU wants more co-operation with China in space

  • Galileo is still a 3D model, while rivals are developing fast (Photo: S. Corvaja, European Space Agency)

The EU wants to improve its co-operation with China in space technology and "share open frequencies in satellite navigation", just as the Asian giant is developing its own rival system.

Not wanting to be on the losing side as American, Russian and Chinese satellite navigation systems advance, the EU on Monday (4 April) launched its first EU Space Strategy, presented by industry commissioner Antonio Tajani.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"The EU will also propose that space dialogue, the scope and objectives of which will be set out in appropriate bilateral arrangements, be established with other existing and emerging space powers, in particular the People's Republic of China," says the document.

"The EU will seek constructive solutions to issues of cooperation and sharing open frequencies in the field of satellite navigation," it adds.

China in 2003 joined as an investment partner the EU's own satellite navigation project, Galileo, which should have been already operational this year, and whose costs are likely to surpass the initial budget by over €1.5 billion.

Although "China Galileo Industries" still exists and held its sixth board meeting in January, Beijing has meanwhile started its own project, Beidou, planned to offer satellite navigation to South Asian countries next year and to expand to a global service by 2020.

"Galileo is one of the Union's flagship programmes and the first satellite navigation system in the world designed for civilian use. It will enable the Union to remain independent in a strategically important field, at a time when reliance on global navigation systems continues to grow," the Tajani paper reads, without any specific reference to Beidou.

His calls to step up and complete the Galileo project are also valid for EU's other project - the European Earth Monitoring Programme (GMES) designed for land, ocean, atmosphere, air quality and climate change monitoring, but also emergency response and security. GMES should be operational by 2014.

A European Space Situation Awareness system, protecting space stations and satellites from debris, solar radiations and asteroids is also mentioned in the paper.

"Space should become an integral part of the EU's external policy in particular to the benefit of Africa," the document reads, adding that Brussels may propose an EU space programme in 2011, depending on the bloc's next multi-annual budget.

Currently, European space manufacturing industry represents a turnover of €5.4 billion and employs over 30,000 highly qualified professionals. There are 11 major satellite operators in Europe using 153 communication satellites, with a turnover of €6 billion and representing some 6,000 employees.

If Galileo and GMES were to be implemented, Tajani projects "economic and social benefits worth around €60-90 billion over the next 20 years."

China urges Germany and France to solve euro-crisis

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday offered vague promises to buy bonds from troubled euro-countries, but said that it is ultimately up to Germany and France to solve the crisis.

News in Brief

  1. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Agenda

Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK

Brexit talks will continue in Brussels, as UK PM Theresa May's government is trying to find a way out of the political impasse at home. Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee will speak at the European Parliament next week.

Saudis paying College of Europe to lobby MEPs

The Bruges-based College of Europe is setting up private meetings with the EU institutions for seven ambassadors plus seven high-level officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  2. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  3. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  4. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk
  5. EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency
  6. Saudi Arabia, but not Russia, on EU 'dirty money' list
  7. EU agrees draft copyright reform, riling tech giants
  8. Rutte warns EU to embrace 'Realpolitik' foreign policy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us