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European Space Traffic Management Conference

Representatives of Member States of European union (EU) and European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission (EC),the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Executive of ESA met at the European Space Traffic Management Conference »Fostering a European approach on Space Traffic Management« on July 7, 2021.

The Space Traffic Managament Conference was initiated by orientations affirmed by the EU-ESA Space Council of 20 November 2020 on the European contribution in establishing key principles for the global space economy. There, Ministers responsible for space, recommended a coherent approach on STM in Europe, including to hold a dedicated European conference to discuss the mapping excercise of current regulatory frameworks in Europe.

The STM Conference is an important element of the EU STM Roadmap. It was prepared in an informal process, moderated by Germany, and included a hearing and  a mapping of European capabilities and gaps -  aimed at shaping an initial unified European approach towards Space Traffic Management (STM) and endorsing a written (non binding) document – Outcomes of the European Space Management Conference titled »Fostering a European approach on Space Traffic Management«  as a contribution to the further STM debate in Europe.

Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, in his Introductory Remarks pointed out: »Europe should agree on the common position on STM without any delay. Therefore, STM will be one of the main priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EUState Secretary Andrej Čuš added: »Slovenia will continue to foster and strengthen the debate and prepare a Presidency Report that will be presented at the Competitiveness Council (Space) in November.«

The Outcomes »Fostering a European approach on Space Traffic Management« endorsed at the Conference highlight the views expressed by the delegations from the Member States of EU and ESA, EC, EEAS and ESA on relevance of STM for Europe, state of play,  needs and actors contributing to a European Approach to STM,  as well as the necessary activities in the technological and regulatory areas to be taken.

It has been clearly demonstrated that a coordinated approach in the field of STM at the European level is crucial to react to the global challenges and to contribute to international discussions and formulation of future international norms and standards for preserving European interests in accessing and using space, public and private space infrastructure and to promote the competitiveness of the European industry. Moreover, Europe has to take leadership role in shaping the way STM will develop internationally and work in partnership with all relevant stakeholders.

The document strongly supports the role of European Commission in implementation of the EU Space Programme, especially when it comes to SST; and is recognising ESA's essential contributions and expertise, especially in its Space Safety Programme and experience in contributing in different international forums.

In the development of a European position on STM, continued engagement with international partners/organisations like UNCOPUOS will be key in ensuring that the increased coordinated European approach contributes to international STM discussions, in order to achieve an internationally acceptable approach.

The video of the conference is available here, access password is pX9ZBZdE