Written by Sebastian Clapp and Clément Evroux.
Space is becoming an increasingly contested domain. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine highlights the key role of space-based connectivity for the conduct of military operations and the continuity of public services. The Strategic Compass for Security and Defence underlines the increasingly contested nature of space, recognises space as a strategic domain and accentuates the need to boost the security and defence dimensions of the EU in space. EU Member States have therefore committed to adopt an EU space strategy for security and defence; this was put forward by the Commission on 10 March 2023.
Recognition by the EU and its Member States of the importance of space and defence has led to an increase in the development and use of space assets for defence and security objectives over the past decade. Space and defence capability development is advancing, with several European Defence Fund and permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) projects developing the capabilities that the EU will need in the space and defence sphere. Synergies are being sought between the civil, defence and space industries. The EU is also increasingly involved in global governance on space issues, working to enhance its partnerships on space security, for instance with the United States and with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs has adopted an own-initiative report on the Strategic Compass and EU space-based defence capabilities, in which it welcomes ‘the findings and high level of ambition in the recommendations proposed in the EU space strategy in the area of security and defence’. The Council has meanwhile adopted conclusions on the EU space strategy for security and defence, welcoming it and supporting its main points.
Read the complete briefing on ‘EU space strategy for security and defence‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.