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EDA holds fifth Defence in Space forum as EU prepares to act in space

The European Defence Agency (EDA) brought together 19 European Union Member States and NATO, the European Commission and the EU Satellite Centre for a two-day meeting from 14 February to coordinate and streamline efforts, as the EU develops its space strategy for security and defence. The EU Military Staff and the European External Action Service were also present at EDA's headquarters in Brussels. 

The Defence in Space forum was the fifth and largest gathering since its inception in 2022. It discussed the new 2023 EU Capability Development Priorities in space and the tasks assigned to EDA in implementing the EU space strategy.

The  space strategy was proposed by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and the European Commission in March 2023. EDA will focus on providing military requirements to the Commission, as well as developing space education and training for security and defence.

Some EU Member States already have strategies governing the way they work in space. For others an EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence might serve as an inspiration for stronger involvement in the domain. 

Observation, navigation, communication

In the search for collaborative opportunities in space for defence, EDA’s expertise plays a unique role as a bridge between space projects run by different initiatives, such as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the European Defence Fund (EDF) and the EU Space Programme.  

At the February forum, space planners discussed not just the implementation of tasks stemming from the proposed EU Space Strategy but also how to implement the 2023 Capability Development Priorities. They include space situational awareness, access to space, protection of space systems, space-based earth observation capabilities, positioning, navigation and timing, and satellite communication.  

The Defence in Space forum was launched within EDA in October 2022. It was an outcome of the EU’s defence review, CARD, which identified defence in space as a focus area in which collaboration was assessed to be most pressing, most needed, and most promising.   

EDA's wider role  

EDA supports its 27 Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks allowing it to the whole spectrum of defence capabilities.  
Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here