Franck Proust: “Aviation is one of the only sectors able to get our economy going again - the real economy.”
Civil Aviation manufacturing is one of Europe’s most successful industries, where it leads the world in the development of new aircraft, engines and equipment. It makes a significant direct and indirect contribution to the European economy, both in terms of high-skilled jobs (over 550,000 in 2013) and in terms of export earnings (€89 billion in sales in 2013). This industry also invests heavily in research and new technology – on average almost €7 billion are reinvested every year in civil aeronautics R&D. However, this success should not be taken for granted in the face of strong competitors from other countries and the challenge of maintaining a cost-competitive manufacturing base in Europe.
The space sector is a strategic sector for Europe and nations across the world. Access to space, technological non-dependence, space research, and preserving the European space industry’s competitiveness are among the main stakes and challenges for Europe’s space policy today. Through its two flagship programmes Galileo and Copernicus, the EU acts as a user and promoter of space infrastructures. In this sense, European institutional programmes promoted by ESA and European governments represent more than half of the European space industry market (54% in 2014, and €3.9 billion).
The European space manufacturing industry, which benefits today from an overall turnover of €7.25 billion (+6% compared to the previous year) and employing over 38 000 people (of which 20% are women), is a key player in the pursuit of these EU objectives. By supporting the EU’s internal and external policies in a wide variety of domains, the European space industry is also a strategic asset for the EU.
In Europe, institutional programmes generate socioeconomic benefits and provide missions of general public interest in the fields of meteorology, science, defence and security, communications, exploration, and human space flights. Space-based applications and services also bring an added-value to a wide variety of sectors and economic fields such as automotive, energy, maritime, agriculture, crisis management, etc.
Beyond the great potentials for economic growth and jobs, the strategic geopolitical nature of space in the global scene is indisputable. In the midst of rising global competitors and challenges, the space industrial sector is striving to preserve and enhance its competitive positions in established and emerging markets. In order for Europe to position itself as a strong and autonomous space power, European programmes will need to support industry in this endeavor.
By working together towards common goals, the time is ripe for Europe and Industry to shoot for the stars!
Ms. Hohlmeier on the importance of space issues for Europe
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