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EU Space Policy and the Role of the European Parliament

Emmanuel Sigalas

The new Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (Lisbon Treaty) provides the EU for the first time competences in the area of space policy. Space policy is not only a newEU competence area, but also an expensive and highly visible one with important political implications for other policy areas (e.g., employment, telecommunications,research, security). Decisions on the European space policy are taken according to the normal EU (co-decision) procedure which means that the EP will beco-legislating with the Council of Ministers.This paper aims to cast light in one of the least explored EU policy areas and to outline the role of the European Parliament in its development thus far. The paper isdivided in two parts. In the first part I introduce the EU space policy, and explain why its adoption has important political implications for the future of the EU. In thesecond part I outline the stance of the European Parliament towards the EU space policy. In particular, I present the decisions and reports it adopted, I comment on thedegree of voting unity and I identify the main objections of the MEPs who voted against the adoption of the EU regulations concerning space policy.

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