Space: A European priority

Space: Supporting Europe’s strategic priorities

The European Union’s Space Programme is a priority in its own right, guaranteeing Europe’s strategic independence in an increasingly volatile world and establishing the European Union as a global space power. But Europe’s investment in space goes beyond this. Europe’s satellite navigation and positioning programmes Galileo and EGNOS and the Earth observation programme Copernicus are drivers of European innovation, and the services and applications that they enable support Europe’s economic growth and help the European Union achieve its key priorities for Europe.

A European Green Deal

The European Green Deal aims to make the EU's economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities to boost innovation and growth in Europe. As drivers of transformative change, the EU Space Programme enable innovative solutions that promote sustainable economic growth that is decoupled from resource use. In our cities, on our roads, on the seas and in farms across Europe, Galileo, Copernicus and EGNOS enable high-precision applications and services that increase operational efficiency and help make Europe greener.

A Europe fit for the digital age

Europe’s Space Programme play an essential role in keeping Europe connected. Galileo standard time serves as the reference for telecom networks and financial transactions, and GNSS-powered location-based services create endless new possibilities for injecting extremely accurate timing an positioning data into the digital transformation. With the increasing connectivity of the Internet of Things and advances in autonomous driving, GNSS and Earth observation will continue to play a vital role in the development of Europe’s Digital Single Market.

An economy that works for people

Global downstream market revenue from GNSS devices and services is forecast to grow from EUR 150 billion in 2019 to EUR 325 billion in 2029. Europe’s Galileo and EGNOS programmes ensure that all Europeans are able to benefit from this exciting development. By boosting innovation, the EU Space Programme creates high-skilled jobs in the EU and improve the day-to-day lives of Europeans by supporting innovative companies and accelerating the development of new applications that use European global navigation satellite systems and Earth observation data.

A stronger Europe in the world

The European Space Programme was developed to give Europe strategic autonomy in space and to give the European Union an equal footing on the global stage with other space powers. Having its own navigation and positioning capability increases Europe’s prestige and allows all EU citizens to benefit freely from Europe’s investment in space. Moreover, satellite imagery provided by the Copernicus programme and the precise positioning offered by Galileo and EGNOS allow Europe to play a leading role in global disaster relief, climate action and development projects.

Promoting our European way of life

Unlike other GNSS systems, Galileo is a civilian programme, its sole ‘raison d'être’ is to improve the lives of Europeans. The same is true for Copernicus. Perhaps less visible, the EU Space Programme provides services to protect Europe’s borders and to support orderly migration into the EU, as well as to manage and respond to disasters and crises. Earth observation and GNSS positioning enable projects that protect Europe from terrorism and organised crime, protecting the citizens of the EU and making Europe a safer place to live and do business.

A new push for European democracy

Europe’s space programmes are helping to usher in a new era of democratic involvement. From real-time voting via your smartphone to enabling crowd-sourced petitioning, Galileo, EGNOS and Copernicus are empowering European citizens to become more directly involved in the democratic decision-making process.

Updated: Dec 01, 2020