Director Sorin Ducaru represents SatCen at ESA’s Intermediate Ministerial Meeting
ESA’s Ministers in charge of space activities convened on 18-19 November 2021 in Matosinhos, Portugal, for the Intermediate Ministerial Meeting. The central theme for this year’s meeting was “Accelerating the Use of Space in Europe”, with the concrete objective of drafting a Manifesto that would generate a new vision for space activity and accelerate applications that address critical issues, among which climate change, disaster response or the safety of satellites in orbit.
Director Sorin Ducaru attended the meeting on behalf of SatCen, forming part of the Observers group, alongside representatives from the EEAS, EDA, EMSA, and EUSPA. In his address to the Ministers, Director Ducaru highlighted SatCen’s mission of supporting decision making and actions of the European Union in the field of CFSP through the provision of products and services resulting from the exploitation of relevant space assets and other data. Mr Ducaru underlined the Centre’s additional role of maximizing synergies and complementarities with EU activities in the field of security, defence and space. From this perspective, the Centre closely cooperates with the EU Commission and contributes to the implementation of the EU Space Programme through its components. Moreover, the Agency serves as the Copernicus SEA entrusted entity, supports Frontex with GEOINT products for border surveillance, and manages, since 2014, the EU SST Front Desk.
In the Director’s own words, “To keep EU capabilities at the cutting edge and to face the challenges posed by the fast-changing global environment, the value extracted from data shall serve not only to analyse current situations but should help us to be prepared for the future. The main challenge today is to find the most relevant sources to have access to and build reliable models. To respond to this big challenge, joint undertakings are needed. From its position of geospatial intelligence analysis provided to the EU and Member States, SatCen is working in research and technology development and innovation activities relevant for its core activities to support understanding and modelling of the nexus between security and other domains.”
Throughout the Ministerial Meeting, a strong focus was placed on the need for EU nations to both, prioritize and invest in security and defence in space. In this sense, Director Ducaru expressed the “Centre’s readiness to cooperate in space and security activities in support of developing a more secure, green and digital EU in the coming years”.
The “Matosinhos Manifesto” defined three “accelerators” aimed at taking Europe’s space ambition to the next level: Space for a Green Future, Rapid and Resilient Crisis Response and Protection of Space Assets. The Intermediate Ministerial meeting comes at a time where Europe is increasing its ambition for space, security and defence and addresses the need to not only provide sustainability and safety in space but also ensure the security and defence of space.
For more information on the resolution of the event, visit ESA- Decisions from the Intermediate Ministerial Meeting 2021
ESA - IMM21 (minutes 57:45 – 1:11:43)