SatCen celebrates its 30th Anniversary with an Exhibition and Roundtable Discussion

This year, the European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen) celebrates 30 years in support of EU Space, Security and Defence. To mark this particular year, SatCen initiated a variety of relevant activities.


Celebrations kicked off on 26 September 2022, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially inaugurating the extended headquarters of the SatCen building. The milestone event was conducted under the auspices of H.E. Pedro Sánchez, President of the Government of Spain, represented by H.E. Margarita Robles, Minister of Defence, and H.E. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission.


As an intergovernmental agency of the 27 EU Member States, the European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen) has been providing state-of-the-art security and defence services based on space assets, in support of the decision-making and actions in CFSP/CSDP and relevant EU space and security policies, maximizing synergies with relevant EU and Member State bodies for the past three decades.


Often referred to as “The European Union’s Eyes on the Ground”, SatCen provides EU operational strategic autonomy, enabling critical actions and shaping decisions that impact our world today and tomorrow. SatCen’s products and services support EU political decision-makers to those planning and executing CSDP missions or operations, responding to natural or man-made disasters or assisting in humanitarian aid missions.


Now, and for a limited time only, SatCen’s activities on geospatial analysis will be on display in the Justius Lipsius Atrium from the 7th to the 18th of November. The exhibition, titled “SatCen and Security from Space: 30 years serving a European Security Endeavour” will be accompanied by an opening event (roundtable discussion and Vin d’Honneur) under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the HR/VP Josep Borrell, and with the support of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.


The exhibition, composed of 28 panels, will provide a first-hand view into SatCen’s geospatial analysis for a wide range of activities – from the support of EU Missions and Operations to analysis of irregular migration, critical infrastructure and battle damage assessment to climate change and the monitoring of cultural heritage sites.-


The opening event will include welcoming remarks by SatCen Director Sorin Ducaru and Ambassador Jitka Látal Znamenáčková, Deputy Head of the Czech Permanent Representation to the EU and Permanent Representative to the PSC. Specific keynote addresses will be given by H.E. HR/VP Josep Borrell, Gen. Robert Brieger, Chairman of the EU Military Committee and Mr Xavier Pasco from La Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique. The roundtable event, titled “SatCen in the Next 3 Decades: Strategic Role for the EU Security, Defence and Space Ambitions” will be moderated by Mr Daniel Fiott, from the Real Instituto Elcano, and will include the participation of Amb. Balfoort (EEAS), Adm. Bléjean (DG EUMS), Ambassador Ducaru (SatCen), Amb. van den Heuvel (Council), Mrs Papantoniou (European Commission) and Amb. Pronk (PSC Chair).


Against the backdrop of today’s complex security environment, the exhibit sheds light on SatCen’s activities and increased relevance for the EU and Member States in the overall context of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), while at the same time showcasing the benefits of space for security on Earth.


In the words of SatCen Director Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, “SatCen is a concrete example of EU operational strategic autonomy. It is concrete proof of EU pooling and sharing, that works. It is a diplomatic tool to implement EU policies and an operational tool for civilian and military actions". 


For more information on SatCen’s 30th anniversary visit its anniversary-dedicated website.

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