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Minister Neale Richmond attends the EU Space Competitiveness Council

Conclusions on ‘Fair and sustainable use of Space’ agreed

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Neale Richmond TD joined his fellow EU Ministers with responsibility for Space at a meeting of the EU Competitiveness (Space) Council in Brussels today. The meeting was chaired by Swedish Minister for Education, Mr Mats Persson with the European Commission represented by Commissioner Thierry Breton (Internal Market) and Carine Claeys, Special Envoy for Space, European External Action Service.  

Ministers agreed Council Conclusions on the “Fair and sustainable use of space”. The Conclusions underline the importance of a fair and sustainable use of space and encourage the implementation of the voluntary guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities that were adopted by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in June 2019. The voluntary guidelines provide guidance on the policy and regulatory framework for space activities; safety of space operations; international cooperation, capacity-building and awareness; and scientific and technical research and development. This is particularly important as space becomes more congested due to the increasing amount of space objects, which is posing a risk to the provision of space service operations.

The Council also discussed EU Space Policy in a new geopolitical landscape. 

After the meeting, Minister Richmond said:

“Ireland remains committed to the peaceful use of space and we are pleased to see the commitment to that goal in the Space Strategy for Security and Defence Communication.”

“We are conscious of growing concerns around space-related risks and threats to our security. Ireland’s society and economy are highly reliant on guaranteed connectivity, therefore the importance of the EU taking a more active role in strengthening our space capabilities and resilience is recognised by Ireland. To do this, the EU must strive to be a leader in developing the global conditions that support the continued safe operation of European space assets.”