ESA and EU member states highlight the importance of the space sector

Press releases, 28.05.2019

The State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, Martina Hirayama, participated to the ‘Space Council’ of ESA and EU member states in Brussels today. A joint resolution entitled ‘Space as an Enabler’ was adopted, emphasising the role of space as a significant socio-economic tool, its importance in expanding the frontiers of knowledge, and its contribution to the development and implementation of policy in various sectors.

Public investment in space research and technology improves our daily life. Meteorology, air traffic safety, disaster management and climate change analysis are just a few of the areas in which Switzerland enjoys the benefits. The resolution ‘Space as an Enabler’ adopted by ministers responsible for space affairs includes inter alia, a recommendation on effective and balanced governance of space, the importance of promoting space science and space technology development and the positive impact of the space sector on economic growth and innovation.

State Secretary Martina Hirayama took the opportunity to remind Space Council participants that Europe’s space capabilities have been built  thanks to the coordinated long-term vision of the European Space Agency ESA, the European Union and their respective member states. By efficiently combining the potential of these different organisations, Europe has been able to produce great success stories such as the Galileo and EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) satellite navigation systems and the Copernicus (Programme européen pour l’environnement, anciennement GMES) earth observation programme.

The primary objective of the Space Council, established in 2004 under an ESA-EU framework agreement, is to enable open exchange and debate on European space cooperation so as to develop coherent policy and make Europe a strong and competitive global player in the space sector. The 2019 Space Council was held at the invitation of Spain and Romania, which chair the Ministerial Council of ESA and the Council of the EU respectively. State Secretary Martina Harayama stressed the importance of maintaining open, constructive and regular high-level dialogue to ensure the continued success of Europe’s space sector and that ESA, an intergovernmental organisation, continues to play a central role.

As a founding member of ESA and as a participant in EU space programmes, Switzerland is a full member of the European space family, makes an invaluable contribution to Europe’s space endeavour and remains a competitive global player in the field.

Address for enquiries:

State Secretariat for education, research and innovation
Renato Krpoun
Head Space office
T +41 58 460 52 56


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research