By Antonio Tajani - 25th October 2012
Citizens are more and more aware of the concrete benefits that space brings to our societies
A new Eurobarometer survey shows that European citizens are becoming more aware of the importance of the EU’s space programmes, writes Antonio Tajani
A recent Eurobarometer survey acknowledges the importance that space has for European citizens and their support for the EU’s involvement in this domain. Despite the current economic and financial turmoil, EU citizens have confidence in our space initiatives. They are crucial for the economy and society and for fostering innovation and industrial competitiveness.
Space industry and its derived services are constantly enlarging their scope of application. Citizens are more and more aware of the concrete benefits that space brings to our societies. Telecommunications, meteorology, navigation-localisation are but a few examples of the many space related services that contribute to our wellbeing. Space is therefore a key part of our industry policy.
Space contributes to intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth. It is an integral part of the third industrial revolution that will bring on a new economic era and form part of the more sustainable management of our resources that we need to achieve. The benefits derived from space activities largely compensated for their asset investment. This is because space industry and services have a spill-over effect into many domains, including mobility and urban planning improvement, safety and security enhancement, ecosystems and biodiversity preservation, agriculture and fisheries optimisation, climate change mitigation, leisure and health advancement or development aid provision.
This is why the EU centres its action in the space field on the wellbeing of its citizens. We also focus on how space can support our economy by creating growth and jobs. Space programmes are indeed highly innovative; they create opportunities for new services as well as technology spin-offs in diverse sectors.
The commission has three programmatic priorities to optimise space benefits for our citizens: providing top notch navigation services with Galileo, consolidating Europe’s capacity for Earth observation with global monitoring for environment and security, and, of course, ensuring the protection of its infrastructures via space surveillance and tracking. The Flash Eurobarometer on space activities of the European Union was conducted in July 2012 in order to examine our citizens’ awareness, expectations and wishes regarding space based services and their opinion on the role of the EU in the development of space activities. Thanks to this latest survey we have now a realistic and positive view on the perception that European citizens have of EU space activities.
Antonio Tajani is commission vice-president for industry and entrepreneurship