The global space defence environment is currently undergoing in-depth transformation, and several major announcements were made worldwide in 2019. Our latest ESPI report analyses the status and on-going developments in these matters and puts in perspective the various options for Europe to face the challenges ahead.
Indeed, our reliance on space infrastructures is ever-increasing in our daily lives, but also to support our economy as well as to conduct security and defence-oriented operations in a tense diplomatic environment. Therefore, the need to protect space systems has become critical. Europe has long been a key player in the space sector, but reflection on the protection of space assets is just taking shape.
More precisely, the report presents how the strategies, operational organisations and capabilities of major non-European space powers are giving raise to a riskier environment for European assets in orbit. Frameworks for the management of space defence issues in Europe are also described in detail, be it at national, intergovernmental or supranational levels, in order to better understand their benefits and limits.
Based on the analysis of the current situation, several suggestions are made to support the reflection on further progress to be made in Europe to move forward in a cooperative manner while taking into account key difficulties raised by sovereignty concerns as well as technological and industrial policy considerations.