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Maria da Graça Carvalho appointed rapporteur in the Budget Committee for establishing a space surveillance and tracking support Programme

Maria da Graça Carvalho appointed rapporteur in the Budget Committee for establishing a space surveillance and tracking support Programme

2013-10-09 - Informação à Imprensa

In her capacity of member of the Budget Committee of the European Parliament, Maria da Graça Carvalho was appointed rapporteur on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a space surveillance and tracking support programme SST.  

The programme seeks to contribute to building up an independent European capability of space surveillance and tracking ('SST') aimed at preventing and monitoring the growing risk of collision between space infrastructures and other spacecraft or space debris. 

Member States would contribute with their own sensor assets while the Union would provide a framework and a financial contribution, thereby ensuring three main functions: networking of sensors; data processing; service to the users

Maria da Graça Carvalho believes "this is a strategic project which is instrumental in the independence and security of major European assets, not least under the two large scale EU projects EGNOS/Galileo and Copernicus"

However, the main issue identified by the Rapporteur is the "financing of the SST support programme". "Indeed, says Ms Carvalho, the draft Regulation sets out that its funding shall be drawn from other relevant programmes in full compatibility with their legal base. But although Galileo, Horizon 2020, the Internal Security Fund and Copernicus have been flagged for contribution, the draft legal act itself does not yet include Copernicus and does not clarify the extent of these respective contributions". 

The Rapporteur attempts to insert a maximum amount and by making sure that both EGNOS/Galileo and Copernicus, who will be among the main beneficiaries of the SST capability, are also its primary contributors - while other programmes should only be subsidiary. The use of the Horizon 2020 envelope, in particular, should be strictly limited to its own remit - space and security research. The Rapporteur also proposes to insert a breakdown of the envelope into the three main functions to be assured by the SST programme

Deadline for tabling amendments is set for 24th October at 12:00.

The vote in BUDG committee is scheduled for 14th November.

More information here.