European Union Space Strategy for Security and Defence

Author (Corporate)
Series Details JOIN (2023) 9
Publication Date 10/03/2023
Content Type


Joint Communication adopted by the European Commission and the EU's High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy on 10 March 2023, setting out its first European Space Strategy for Security and Defence (EU SSSD).

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The European Union (EU) owns and operates space assets for positioning, navigation and timing (Galileo) and earth observation (Copernicus), with a third constellation to be launched for secure communications (IRIS²). EU Member States own and operate national space assets, including assets that serve security and defence purposes. The EU Satellite Centre (SatCen) provides geospatial intelligence analysis capability, to support decision-making and actions of the EU and its countries.

Space is deemed critical for the strategic autonomy of the EU and its Member States. Yet, it is also an increasingly contested area. In an increasingly competitive geopolitical context, and as threats to the EU and Member States intensify, leaders identified space as a strategic domain in the Strategic Compass and have called for an EU Space Strategy for security and defence. The EU Security Union Strategy also recognises space infrastructure as essential services which must be adequately protected against threats and be resilient.

This Joint Communication outlines the counterspace capabilities and main threats in space that put at risk space systems and their ground infrastructure, building on a common definition of the space domain. The Strategy foresees a classified annual space threat landscape analysis at EU level to be presented by the High Representative. It also proposes actions to strengthen the resilience and protection of space systems and services in the EU. The document was adopted by the European Commission on 10 March 2023, as one of the key deliverables of the Strategic Compass.

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Commentary and Analysis
European Space Policy Institute (ESPI): Brief No 63, 10/03/2023: High time for an EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence

European Commission: Press Release, 10/03/2023: An EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence to ensure a stronger and more resilient EU
European Commission: Questions and Answers on an EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence (10 March 2023)

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