The European Union is stepping up the pace to deploy a quantum communications network impossible for hackers to decipher

With EUR 13 billion in his hands, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market is ready to make Europe a key player in the global space sector  
El comisario europeo Thierry Breton dispone en el periodo 2021-2027 de 13.200 millones de euros para iniciar el proceso que encamine a la UE hacia el liderazgo en el espacio

PHOTO/EU  -   European Commissioner Thierry Breton has 13,200 million euros available for the period 2021-2027 to start the process that will lead the EU to leadership in space

The European Union is determined to develop a constellation of quantum communications inaccessible to hackers and to become, together with the United States and China, one of the three global space powers. This was the view of the Commissioner for Industry and the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, who outlined the main space priorities contained in the Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027.  

With a budget of 13,200 million euros, described as a "solid financial endowment", Thierry Breton defended Europe's leadership in space at the 13th European Space Conference, which is being held on January 12 and 13 in Brussels, with the aim of achieving the much-repeated but never achieved strategic autonomy.  

The cream of the old continent's space industry and a large group of MEPs have been informed of the projects and have had the opportunity to discuss the new space programme in Brussels, which seeks to anticipate the challenges and avoid possible strategic dependencies that may arise over the next 20 to 30 years.  

Ya está en marcha un estudio para desplegar una constelación de satélites cuánticos que ofrezca comunicaciones cifradas y seguras a las autoridades y organismos europeos y a los Gobiernos de los países miembros
PHOTO/Oracle - A study is already underway to deploy a constellation of quantum satellites to provide encrypted and secure communications to European authorities and agencies and to the governments of the member countries.  

The EU Commissioner responsible for the Space and Defence Industry confirmed that he intends to present a proposal to make a public-private constellation of quantum satellites a reality. Its aim is to provide encrypted and secure communications to European authorities and agencies and also to the governments of member countries. This is an initiative which is still in its initial study phase and which is not yet assessed from an economic point of view, but which will undoubtedly be worth billions.  

Another ambition of Thierry Breton is to position Europe at the world centre of space enterprise. With the cooperation of the European Investment Bank and the collaboration of private risk capital funds, the European Commissioner is going to launch the CASSINI initiative this year, a 1,000-million-euro fund to set up an incubator to boost the activities of emerging companies and space innovation. 

El presidente del Consejo Europeo, el belga Charles Michel (en la imagen), la presidenta de la Unión Europea y exministra de Defensa alemana, Úrsula von der Leyen y el comisario francés Thierry Breton coinciden en que si la Unión Europea quiere ser más fuerte en el panorama global, también debe ser más fuerte en el espacio
PHOTO/EU - The President of the European Council, Belgian Charles Michel (in the image), the President of the European Union and former German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and French Commissioner Thierry Breton agree that if the European Union wants to be stronger on the global stage, it must also be stronger in space.  
No space policy without autonomous access to space  

As Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry (2005-2007) under Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin during Jacques Chirac's term as President of the French Republic, Breton wanted to be very clear in stressing that Brussels' space policy "will continue to rely on the European Space Agency (ESA) and its technical expertise, both in the field of engineering and planetary science". An intergovernmental body outside the EU, "we need ESA at our side if we are to succeed in our strategy for space".    

Aware that there is no space policy without autonomous access to the Earth's orbit and beyond, he said he was aiming for "an alliance of European launchers". His aim is to define a reusable rocket, a vector already possessed by the United States and on which Russia and China are working at high speed. Breton said he wanted to bring together ESA and industry directors, senior officials from EU countries and members of the European Parliament so that together they could "agree on a roadmap defining a next generation of European non-disposable rockets", unlike what is happening now with the Ariane 5 and the Vega.  

In his own words, his objective is to "go beyond national interests", in a clear reference to France and Italy, the two countries that lead the manufacture of launch vehicles in Europe. Breton also stressed the importance of consolidating the Galileo navigation and positioning constellation, a competitor of the American GPS, the Russian GLONASS and the Chinese Beidou, with a new generation of satellites. A similar renewal will apply to the Copernicus space network, whose Sentinel platforms are dedicated to the observation, security and monitoring of the Earth's environment. 

Los satélites y las infraestructuras en órbita guardan una estrecha relación con las actividades de defensa y seguridad, son estratégicas, sensibles y deben estar protegidas
PHOTO/Airbus DS - Satellites and infrastructures in orbit are closely related to defence and security activities, are strategic, sensitive and must be protected.  

A politician with great communication skills, a born leader and former head of multinationals such as France Telecom, Bull and Atos, Thierry Breton is in tune with the views of the President of the European Union, Germany's Ursula von der Leyen - Angela Meckel's former defence minister - and the President of the European Council, Belgium's Charles Michel. The latter took part in the event and confirmed that "space has a direct impact on our geopolitical goal of strategic autonomy." "A robust European space sector is essential to a robust Europe", he concluded. 

Another senior official who has taken the floor at the meeting is the Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Spain's Josep Borrell. He did not hesitate to stress once again that the European space sector is a "facilitator" of the EU's strategic autonomy, that space is fast becoming "a political arena" that hovers over geopolitical competition on earth and the need to continue working to "promote peaceful use, responsible behaviour and to prevent and avoid the positioning of weapons systems" in outer space. 

La decimotercera Conferencia Espacial Europea se celebra el 12 y 13 de enero de forma presencial y virtual en Bruselas, con la participación de centenares de altos directivos de la industria espacial y miembros del Parlamento Europeo
PHOTO/EU - The thirteenth European Space Conference is being held on January 12 and 13 in Brussels, in person and virtually, with the participation of hundreds of senior space industry managers and members of the European Parliament.
Orbital infrastructures are sensitive and must be protected  

In keeping with the arguments of their predecessors, the Spanish industrial side includes senior managers of the multinational technology companies GMV and Indra, Jesús Serrano and Ignacio Mataix, the latter heading the Transport and Defence sectors of the Spanish technology multinational.  

 As a company specialising in the ground component of the space sector - particularly in the development of radars and satellite control centres - Mataix has focused on highlighting the growing worldwide demand for connectivity to access, store, process, distribute and make available data "to obtain knowledge". 

De forma conjunta con el Banco Europeo de Inversiones, Bruselas va a activar un fondo de 1.000 millones de euros a lo largo del presente año para impulsar la innovación espacial y las actividades de las empresas emergentes
PHOTO/OHB - Together with the European Investment Bank, Brussels will activate a fund of 1 billion euros this year to boost space innovation and the activities of emerging companies.

Data is set to become a "key element in terms of digital sovereignty", according to Mataix, who agrees with Thierry Breton that "Europe needs new secure, reliable and interoperable communications via satellite" to meet the needs of Brussels and its Member States.   

The Spanish director also stressed the close link between space, defence and security, which means that both the activities and most of the infrastructures in orbit are "of strategic interest". This makes satellites and structures in orbit "sensitive and must be protected", and Jesús Serrano and Ignacio Mataix therefore agree with the European Commissioner in recommending "rationalising the management of space traffic", which is increasing year after year.  

Responsable de impulsar la industria de defensa y espacial, el interés del comisario Thierry Breton por esta última queda patente en su despacho de Bruselas, donde se agolpan modelos a escala de satélites
PHOTO/EU - Responsible for boosting the defence and space industry, Commissioner Thierry Breton's interest in the latter is evident in his office in Brussels, where satellite scale models are being assembled. 

The Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, the Bulgarian Mariya Gabriel, did not hesitate to be present at the meeting to highlight Brussels' desire to provide extensive financial support for research and innovation, which are essential for Europe to become a world leader in space.