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Riigikogu committee supports EU space strategy

Estonia has been a full member of the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2015.
Estonia has been a full member of the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2015. Source: (Reuters/Scanpix)

In a meeting last week the Riigikogu’s European Union Affairs Committee decided to support the EU’s Space Strategy for Europe. Hopes are high that the space sector will bring both investment as well as new technology to Estonia.

According to its deputy chairman, Jaak Madison (EKRE), the committee supports the objectives of the EU’s Space Strategy for Europe, and is of the opinion that it is important to involve the private sector as well. The industry had great potential, and both Estonian businesses and the economy as a whole could benefit from that, Madison was quoted in a press release.

Madison also pointed out that start-ups played a special role in the Space Strategy for Europe. In Madison’s opinion, it is necessary to create an environment that attracts start-ups to this sector, and makes it possible for them to work.

“The target is to produce services and applications with export potential, and also make foreign companies look to Estonia, so that they would be ready to bring their new developments here,” Madison said.

The committee also stated that it considered it necessary to focus on the security and industrial policy dimension of the space industry, as the defence and space industries were closely interconnected and supported each other.

The meeting supported an official position of Estonia in the matter as drafted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Estonia’s annual contribution to the European Space Agency (ESA) is €2.5 million, of which €900,000 make up the mandatory contribution, €600,000 the annual fee for participation in the optional earth observation programme, and about €1 million represent investment in the development of new technologies.

In the 2014-2020 period, the European Union is investing more than €12 billion in the space sector. The European space industry employs more than 230,000 people, and creates an estimated €46–54 billion added value. One third of the world’s satellites are produced in Europe.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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