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Last month the European Defence Agency organised a workshop on “Space for Security and Defence: Towards increased synergies among European stakeholders”. According to the EDA press release:

Key note speakers highlighted the need to deepen the already existing dialogue on space and security among the European Defence Agency, the European Commission, the European Space Agency and the Council Secretariat General so as to address the integration of space systems into the wider ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) and NEC (Network-enabled capabilities) domain based on a capability and user-driven approach.

The workshop also set out a fairly wide-ranging policy agenda for the further militarisation of EU space policy and the development of space-based surveillance systems:

· The ‘Structured Dialogue on space and security’ among EDA, ESA, EC and the Council Secretariat General shall be strengthened and used as a platform to study the scope and conditions for future dual-use capabilities.

· Based on the mandate received by Defence Ministers in May 2009 on a ‘European Framework Cooperation for Security and Defence research’, EDA will look for synergies with the European Commission as well as other institutional players such as the European Space Agency in the wider area of ‘situational awareness’.

· EDA, the European Commission, ESA and the Council Secretariat General will explore civil-military synergies in the field of Earth Observation, incl. GMES and MUSIS and related standardisation issues, in a dedicated task force.

· The security dimension of GMES shall be further developed.

· ESA’s initiative on a European Space Responsiveness System (GIANUS), linking navigation, satellite communications and Earth observation, among others, into one coherent and user-driven system will be further examined by the other European stakeholders, also in view of synergy and complementarity with on-going activities.

· The European SSA (Space Situational Awareness) System will be further developed as a European autonomous infrastructure based on civilian (ESA-lead) and military (EDA-lead) user requirements, while the European Commission and Council Secretariat General will further provide guidance on governance and data policy issues.

See European Defence Agency press release.

For an overview of concerns about the security and defence aspects of EU space policy see pages 52-54 of the report: “NeoConOpticon: The EU Security Industrial Complex”.

See also Frank Slijper’s 2009 briefing paper for TNI “From Venus to Mars: The European Union’s steps towards the militarisation of space“.