Governing Space: Digital & Data Governance

17 June / Virtual

As the EU sets out to make its mark in space, it must navigate a multi-polar system with new actors – from countries to private companies – regularly emerging onto the scene. 58 countries currently have spaced-based assets which contribute significantly to vital functions of the global economy and high-tech societies. As space technology improves, strategic interdependence is a key issue. While international treaties do exist – including on the exploration and use of outer space, activities on the moon and other celestial bodies, and so on – the agreements are relics of the last century and may need to be revisited to meet current needs.

As part of this effort, policymakers will need to address the need for an enhanced regulatory environment both within the EU and internationally, enabling the bloc’s space engineers and scientists to better engage with politicians. The EU faces other major space challenges as well, including the need to bring together three layers – infrastructure, data resources from space, and artificial intelligence – something never done before. And to ensure that Europeans enjoy preferential access to their own space capabilities, the challenge is acquiring and installing the technology for independently storing all EU space data. Will this require a different approach to data sharing?

This debate is part of Friends of Europe’s Making Space Matter initiative, in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

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