The European Commission on Tuesday adopted a space and defense package, aiming to strengthen the EU’s capabilities and secure its space activities.
The package contains proposals that aim to complement the bloc’s Strategic Compass document, its latest defense strategy presented by foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. It also includes the first action plan on EU space activities in the union’s history.
It proposes the construction of EU space communication infrastructure, as well as guidelines on space traffic management to avoid international conflicts in outer space.
According to the plan, the space-based and secure EU communication system would ensure uninterrupted worldwide access to satellite communication services.
“Our new connectivity infrastructure will deliver high-speed internet access, serve as a back-up to our current internet infrastructure, increase our resilience and cyber security, and provide connectivity to the whole of Europe and Africa,” EU Commissioner Thiery Breton explained.
The European Commission estimates that the total cost of the investment would amount to €6 billion ($6.8 billion) which can create an additional €17-24 billion in economic growth and new jobs via spill-over effects.
Another part of the package seeks to reinforce EU member states’ defense capabilities and resilience, while also buttressing the competitiveness of the European defense sector.
With the document, the EU executive body also hopes to introduce new incentives for joint defense procurements by EU countries, including through tax waivers and additional budgetary support from the European Defense Fund, if member states invest in EU military cooperation projects or buy from innovative European small- and medium-sized enterprises.
These proposals complement the Strategic Compass, Borrell’s defense action guide which is expected to be adopted by EU members next month.
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