From 8 to 10 September 2019, the German Presidency of the European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) under the Chairmanship of Klaus-Peter Willsch, MdB, organised the Plenary Session of the Conference in Berlin, Germany. Matteo Tugnoli, ESPI Senior Research Fellow, supported the work of the German Presidency for the organisation of this year's EISC events. In preparation to the ESA Ministerial Council to be held on 27 and 28 November in Seville, Spain, the topic chosen for this year by the German Presidency is “On the Road to Space19+”. A large number of of EISC Members Delegations participated to the Plenary, as well as more than 80 participants from various European institutions, space agencies and industry.
On Monday 9, opening remarks were given by Mr Willsch, Chair of the XXI EISC, and by Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the Bundestag. The Plenary Session was then kick-started by a keynote speech by Thomas Jarzombek, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy and by a keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General of ESA.
EISC Delegations were then given the opportunity to give statements on national space affairs and activities, and share their views for the upcoming ESA Ministerial Council. The conference continued with interventions by renowned experts and debates with the audience through four main sessions, addressing key topics such as: Safety and security; Europe’s independent access to space; Space exploration to the Moon and beyond; and the next generation of Galileo and Copernicus, as well as the role of small satellites for space applications. Concluding the conference, the ceremony of the ESA-EISC Space for Sustainability Award took place, with Simon Wilms Pedersen winning the first prize and Tom Mladenov being awarded the special mention of the jury. In the evening, EISC Delegations and conference participants were welcomed at a Parliamentary Evening hosted by DLR and BDLI.
On Tuesday 10, EISC Delegations convened in a closed meeting to adopt the XXI EISC Resolution, and approve the request of the Austrian Delegation to become a Full Member of the EISC. On this occasion, the Norwegian Delegation presented the topics and planning for the 2020 EISC Norwegian Presidency.
Since 2009, ESPI supports the rotating Presidency of the EISC for the organisation of the spring Workshop and autumn Plenary Session. Further information about EISC can be found on the official website.