The European Commission (EC) presented recent developments in European Space Policy at the 46th Annual Session of the United Nation’s Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS). The EC’s first appearance at COPUOS was welcomed by sitting delegates and the Commission now intends to become a more visible and regular contributor to the Committee.

Holder of official Observer status within all UN Committees, the European Commission had not yet exercised this status in the case of COPUOS. On 18 June 2003, an EC representative, on behalf of the EC/ESA Joint Task Force, made a 15-minute presentation on the Green Paper on European Space Policy. A further message to the Members stating that the EC intends to play a more visible role and contribute more vigorously to the work of the Committee was received positively.

Up to now, the European Space Agency (ESA), also holder of Observer status, has been the sole representative of Europe at COPUOS meetings.

After the session, delegates from Germany, the USA, Turkey, India, the Czech Republic, Poland as well as the Chairman of the Session, and the Director of the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs, Sergio Camacho, welcomed the appearance of the European Commission and expressed their desire to see greater involvement of the EC in the work of COPUOS.

In separate discussions, representatives agreed that, in the interest of a joint European approach, the EC and ESA should collaborate more closely on their contributions to the Committee.