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January 24, 2019

EU commissioner proposes European space force

European Union (EU) commissioner and deputy prime minister of Poland Elzbieta Bienkowska has suggested that the EU should consider establishing a European space force.

By Talal Husseini

European Union (EU) commissioner and deputy prime minister of Poland Elzbieta Bienkowska has suggested that the EU should consider establishing a European space force.

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Bienkowska said in her opening speech at the 11th Annual Conference on European Space Policy in Brussels: “The link between defence and space will increase. The US has recently created a space force. Some of our Member States are considering a similar arrangement. We should reflect on the possibility to have a European space force.

“From an industrial perspective, the military will soon run the disruption of technologies. For instance, on earth point-to-point space flights. Such a prospect can be very disruptive on the medium term, for instance, to the aviation sector.”

However, European Defence Agency (EDA) chief executive Jorge Domecq said that the idea had not been discussed with him, according to EUobserver.

"The US has recently created a space force. Some of our Member States are considering similar arrangement. We should reflect on the possibility to have a European space force."

Domecq told EUobserver: “The EDA is an intergovernmental agency. I follow the guidance of member states. To my knowledge, no member state has so far put forward that idea and the agency is not working on it.

“I have of course heard about the concept being used by individuals here and there, but as a formal proposal, to my knowledge, it is not on the table at this point in time.”

Last week, US President Trump delivered his Missile Defense Review strategy to the Pentagon, including his plan for a US space force. This new development suggests that some in the European space sector are looking to follow suit.

Domecq added: “The US is an important ally. If your main partner is developing its space capabilities, its space policies in a direction, you have to take note of them when you are developing further your space defence programmes.”

Currently five nations – China, Russia, the US, France, and the UK – have some form of military space commands. China and Russia have established their own space forces since 2014 and 2015 respectively, while the US Government is in the early stages of conceptualising a US space force.

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