A unique Panel, grouping 150 experts coming from a wide range of backgrounds, both from the civil and military communities, assessed the European security needs from space: the new Report considers issues relating to both civil and military security, response to terrorism and natural disasters.

The report shows that space technologies can play a key role in assisting the police, emergency response services, armed forces and agencies undertaking humanitarian relief efforts to respond more effectively to, for example, natural disasters, especially those which occur rapidly such as earthquakes and tsunamis, and terrorist attacks. Space assets have for example played an important role in Darfur by providing detailed maps to the NGOs working in that region.

Integrated monitoring and communications systems, combining satellite and terrestrial technologies, have the potential to reduce loss of life, assets, and natural resources arising from such events in the future. The European Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) (http://europa.eu.int/comm/space/programmes/gmes_en.html) initiative will offer capabilities in that respect.

The following concrete Commission initiatives will directly respond to some of the experts recommendations:

  • the funding of a space project in the framework of the Preparatory Action on Security Research (PASR);
  • the last call for proposals on PASR that will be launched beginning of 2006,
  • the third and last call for proposals of the thematic priority “Aeronautic and Space” in the 6th Framework Programme.

The Panel also recommended the urgent establishment, in 2005, of a platform or forum to continue the process of consolidating security-related needs for space technologies in the short, medium and long term, and Commission support to ensure higher interoperability between current national space systems in Europe.

The report is available on this website at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/space/off_docs_en.html

Further information on European Commission initiatives and activities related to Security research: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/security/index_en.htm