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EU opens mid-term review of its €15bn space programme

Image: European Space Agency

Review will inform final years of current programme and design of next version

The European Commission is seeking evidence for a mid-term evaluation of the EU’s space programme, which funds initiatives including the bloc’s Copernicus Earth-observation activities.

With a budget of €14.9 billion for 2021-27, the programme is a major means for achieving the EU’s security, research, digital and environmental ambitions. It also funds the Galileo satellite navigation scheme and a nascent secure communications satellite scheme.

“The space programme supports the space industry and fosters Europe’s space technological leadership and resilience throughout the whole value chain,” the Commission said. 

“It promotes entrepreneurship and competitiveness, boosting startups and disruptive innovation, to ensure that the European space ecosystem remains a hub in the world.”

Evaluation outcomes

A mid-term evaluation of the programme is required by its legislation. It will examine the performance of the services provided, changes in user needs and the services offered by competing providers.

“The evaluation will help in identifying the evolving needs of the users of the EU space programme and where new measures may be needed under the next [multi-year EU budget],” said the Commission. 

“In addition, the evaluation will assist in adjusting existing activities to recent developments in the space sector, such as its increasing importance for security, resilience and non-dependence.”

It wants to hear from relevant providers and users of space-related services, with a deadline of 9 November. More specific surveys will then be opened, and a report of the results will then be presented to the EU institutions.