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Commissioner calls for space mission

Image: Stephane Corvaja, Esa

The EU should consider setting up specialised branches of its military and political systems as part of a much-needed overarching plan for its space activities, industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska has said.

“We need to set in motion a process to define Europe’s vision for space,” she said at the Annual Conference on European Space Policy in Brussels on 22 January. “China goes to the moon. The United States is going to Mars. Are we in this race?”

The question is a “deep, strategic” one that revolves around technological autonomy and requires political leadership, Bienkowska said. She suggested the EU could have a European Space Council under the European Council, which brings together leaders of EU member state governments. “It would gather all the space decision-makers and actors, and advise directly our heads of states and government.”

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