The European Commission has unveiled its plans to support the EU's space industry. The aim is to boost competitiveness in a sector in which there is increasing pressure from emerging players, such as India and China. The 28 February Commission communication - which was postponed for a long time - notes that this will require, inter alia, further legislation than what is currently in place for space activities in the EU. Proposals should be expected in fields such as disseminating data provided by satellites, obligation for insurance, registration and authorisation of space activities and services, sanctions and environmental issues. In particular, a proposal for a regulation will seek to establish a system of third-party responsibility for EU satellite navigation systems - this would clarify the chain of responsibility in the event of damages or a breakdown of navigation systems (though it is unclear at the moment whether this would also apply for collisions in transport, environmental damages, etc).

The Commission will examine whether it would be useful to regulate commercial space flight activities. What is more - in good news for Arianespace - the Commission aims to develop a true EU policy for launchers, the aim being to give the EU autonomous access to space.aMoreover, the Commission plans to provide more structured financial support for space activities - for...

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