This evening, negotiators from the European Parliament and Member States agreed on the so-called 'Secure Connectivity Programme', an ambitious EU programme to develop EU capacities in satellite telecommunications, as well as other key services for the EU space policy.
"This is an important step for more strategic autonomy", said Massimiliano Salini MEP, who negotiated the programme on behalf of the EPP Group. "The Russian war against Ukraine has demonstrated our need to become more self-reliant. While we welcome that private companies such as Starlink help our Ukrainian friends by providing internet via satellite, we should not have to rely on third country providers for such important services. This programme is here to change that. I am glad we reached a good agreement this evening with adequate financing from the Union. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that money will be taken from important existing programmes like Horizon Europe. I want to remind the Member States that, for such a huge task, Union money alone will not do the job. Member States have to come up with money too."
"The development of such capacities will involve many actors. As the EPP Group, we fought to involve small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as much as possible in the whole EU space ecosystem. We secured that a minimum of 30 percent of subcontracts worth more than €10 million will go to SMEs. Space policy has important trickle-down effects for the rest of the economy and we tried to make sure that not only the big actors benefit", added Salini, who is a Member of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States