Europe wants to compete with Musk’s Internet. The program will be managed from Prague

The Copernicus Earth Remote Sensing Program, specifically the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), provides information on the past, present and future climate in Europe and the rest of the world. Like other Copernicus services, CS3 processes and analyzes large amounts of satellite and terrestrial data and “transforms them into value-added information”.

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As C3S director Carlo Buontempo explained, because the data thus obtained focuses on climate and not weather, it is particularly useful for local authorities, helping them to be more proactive – and less reactive – about climate-related risks.

“Since the shocking death toll of the heat wave in southern Europe in 2003, many European countries have drawn up action plans that can be triggered in cases where forecasts warn of ‘heat stress’,” noted Buontempo. This is precisely what the data from the Copernicus satellites are used for.

Help in energy

Orbital technologies also have a role in the energy industry, which is now experiencing a major test due to the war in Ukraine and the related problems.

“It is not widely known, but the EU’s space programs contribute significantly to the stability and development of energy already today. I can mention in particular the time synchronization of energy networks via Galileo or the contribution of the Copernicus Earth observation program in the construction and operation of renewable and traditional sources and the transmission system,” listed MEP Evžen Tošenovský (ODS, ECR).

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According to Tošenovský, the EU Agency for the Space Program (EUSPA), based in Prague, supervises the research and development of other technologies for the energy sector, which are financed, for example, from the Horizon Europe investment program.

“I would also like to mention the ‘spin-off’ effect of space technologies, when, for example, a new generation of flexible solar panels or more efficient battery systems for satellites developed under the auspices of the ESA (European Space Agency, editor’s note) will certainly find application on Earth in the future, ” added the MEP.

Space in European plans

The European Union is aware of the importance of space, which is why it has been putting more money into its Space Program in recent years and is gradually expanding it.

This also means more tasks for the six-month Czech presidency of the Council of the EU. For example, Czechs must pay attention to the area of ​​using data generated from the Copernicus projects and also Galileo, which is a satellite navigation system.

“The focus will definitely be on the program for secure connectivity, we do not expect new legislative proposals (by the end of this year) from the Commission,” noted Evžen Tošenovský, who deals with the topic in the European Parliament.

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According to the Ministry of Transport, the goal of the so-called regulation on Secure Connectivity is to build a space infrastructure of many hundreds of satellites that will provide safe, reliable and affordable autonomous connections for users from the EU. The system is intended to provide services for both government purposes and broadband data connections to the Internet, which European telecommunications operators will be able to offer commercially to end customers.

According to Tošenovský, as is a good practice in Brussels, the Czech presidency does not officially declare in advance that its goal is to conclude the program for secure connectivity in negotiations (so-called trialogues) with the European Parliament during the autumn.

“But how do I know the position of the Council (now led by the Czech Republic, editor’s note), which already agreed on a common approach under the previous French presidency, and as a shadow rapporteur I also know the position of the Parliament, which will be finalized during September and approved in Strasbourg in mid October, I think there is a good chance to reach an agreement by the end of the year,” the MEP described the outlook. The most problematic question will be where to get the money for this project.

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On the contrary, according to Tošenovský, ministers and MEPs agree that EUSPA should play a crucial role in secure connectivity. The agency will have new tasks and new employees, and this will further increase the importance of Prague as the center of EU space activities.

The Prague headquarters is expanding

The EUSPA agency, called GSA until last year, is the headquarters for managing the operation of EU space programs, including existing satellite and navigation projects such as Galileo, EGNOS or Copernicus.

EUSPA has been headquartered in the Czech Republic for ten years and is currently based in Prague’s Holešovice. However, the current building will not have enough capacity in the future, because of the new tasks, the number of employees of the agency should almost triple to a thousand people.

Therefore, a new headquarters is being prepared in the unfinished Nová Palmovka center, which Prague, as an investor, agreed on with the Ministry of Finance in July. The reconstruction should be completed in 2025.

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According to Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček (for TOP 09), the expansion of the EUSPA headquarters in Prague is important for the metropolis and the entire Czech industry. “It’s not just that the administration is here and smart people are employed, but it generates a lot of impacts on industry in the Czech Republic. It is estimated that the effect is worth about three billion crowns,” said Hlaváček in July, according to ČTK.

Prague should thus become a real “space center of the EU”. This is also proven by the so-called EU Space Week, which the Czech Presidency organizes in cooperation with the European Commission and the EUSPA agency at the beginning of October. It is an event where everyone interested in current space trends – politicians, industry, start-ups, investors, experts and users – will gather in the Czech metropolis.

EuractivEuractivSource: EuractivAs part of spreading information about the EU, the newspaper concluded an agreement on the exchange of materials with the EURACTIV.cz server, which provides one of the lowest quality information about the European Union. EURACTIV.cz is a member of the European media network EURACTIV, which currently operates in 13 European countries. In addition to Brussels, where EURACTIV is considered one of the most important media supporting debates on European politics and legislation, it also operates in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Slovakia, Poland and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. It reaches more than a million unique readers per month.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Europe compete Musks Internet program managed Prague

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