According to the committee, the coronavirus pandemic makes it essential for the Europian Union to commit at least USD 17.31 billion in funding for its space programs between 2021 to 2027
Fremont, CA: The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses all over the world, and the space industry is no different. Fearing the vast influence the pandemic will have on the sector, seven members of the European Parliament and the legislative branch of the European Union have urged for a recovery plan to be set in place for the space companies affected by the virus. The seven-member parliamentarian committee wrote to Thierry Breton, a commissioner overseeing space in the EU’s executive branch of the European Commission, estimating that the European space industry will have shrunk by approximately USD 1.08 billion in 2020, which is nearly 12.5 percent of the sector's collective revenue.
"The Covid-19 pandemic is leading to a sharp economic slowdown and a dramatic reduction of international trade," stated the parliamentarians in the letter. “This situation will have a heavy toll on the European space sector, and may lead to rapid capability and capacity loss, including highly specialized technical and managerial skills, that will take years to rebuild if they are not promptly mitigated.” The parliamentarian committee includes two members from France, Manual Bompard and Christophe Grudler, two from Italy, Massimiliano Salini and Andrea Caroppo, and Damian Boeselager, Carlos Zorrinho, and Evžen Tošenovský from Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic, respectively.
According to the committee, the coronavirus pandemic makes it essential for the Europian Union to commit at least USD 17.31 billion in funding for its space programs between 2021 to 2027. That funding is part of the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework, a seven-year budget still under debate, with recent discussions, focused on including a coronavirus recovery plan for Europe.
The committee emphasized that the European Space industry will require a recovery plan that aims at developing new enabling space-based services contributing to the general European economic recovery. "The 27-nation European Union should not let the coronavirus delay the procurement process for its Galileo and Copernicus satellite programs," the committee stated.
Recently, Eurospace, a European space industry trade group, released a paper detailing steps European companies want the European Union to take to support them during the pandemic. These included the European Union being an early customer for space-based products, incorporating space into European Union defense and security initiatives, and increasing funding for research and development of space technology.
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