High Representative Josep Borrell visits SatCen
On 24 February 2020, High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell visited the EU Satellite Centre. He was welcomed by SatCen Director Amb. Sorin Ducaru and Deputy Director Giuseppe D'Amico, who gave an overview of the achievements, challenges and opportunities for the Centre. Thereafter, different SatCen managers showed examples of SatCen activities - geospatial analysis products based on satellite imagery and other data, and related services.
In the Operations Division, imagery analysts explained how SatCen is supporting, through geospatial analysis, the EU’s efforts in the process towards a sustainable political solution to the crisis in Libya, how it is monitoring migration flows for Frontex and also helping EU counter-piracy Operation Atalanta off the Somalian Coast. The Centre presented to the High Representative analyses related to the fight against terrorism in Sahel, the support to the OSCE mission in Ukraine and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Furthermore, products delivered as part of the Copernicus Service in Support to EU External Action related to humanitarian aid and crisis management activities as well as support to EU missions and operations and international organisations were presented to Mr Borrell. Copernicus is the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme and consists of different services. The one in support to EU External Action was delegated to SatCen by the European Commission in October 2016.
The High Representative was also briefed about SatCen activities performed by the Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) Unit. SST implies the surveillance and tracking of satellites, which are increasingly at risk from collision with other spacecraft or debris, and old satellites that are no longer operational and may re-enter and cause damage on the ground.
The visit ended with a short address by the High Representative to SatCen staff and concluding discussions with the SatCen management.
‘On security-related matters, SatCen has helped deliver key geospatial analyses to the EU and Member States. It provides timely analysis for external action, supports crisis management and humanitarian missions, combatting illegal trafficking, fighting terrorism or monitoring migration. SatCen is a key asset for a Europe that protects its interests, security, borders and citizens. I was impressed by what I experienced at SatCen today and am convinced that SatCen deserves more visibility on the European “political orbit” and among the European public’, said HR/VP Borrell.
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