BREMEN, Germany – The European Commission is optimistic its space budget will rise significantly in the next seven-year cycle.
The European Commission is recommending an increase in its annual space budget of more than 5 billion euros ($5.53 billion) to 16.2 billion ($17.93 billion) euros annually from 2021 through 2027. The European Commission’s current space budget for the years 2014 through 2020 is set at 11 billion euros ($12.17 billion).
“This may not be the end of the story,” Matthias Petschke, European Commission director for the European Union space program, said Nov. 19 at the Space Tech Expo Europe here. “There are ongoing discussions at the European parliament.”
In those discussion, European Commission leaders “will argue this is the bare minimum [funding] needed,” adding “member states may have a more critical view,” Petschke said. “We need money to ensure continuity and the appropriate level of technological evolution.”
In the end, the European Commission and member states may reach a compromise. In the past, the Commission has been largely successful in obtaining the funding it sought for space programs, he added.
The European Union also plans to establish a new post: a Directorate-General for Defense and Space. If the plan is approved by member states, the EU space program will no longer report to the European Director General for Growth. Instead, it “will be part of a much more visible, indepependent, agile” organization, Petschke said.