On 8-9 November 2011 Business Bridge Europe in collaboration with the European Commission, the European Parliament and its Sky and Space intergroup, the European Council and with the support of the Committee of the Regions organized the 4th Space Conference on EU Space Policy at the European Parliament, in Brussels.
Following the first launch of the two GALILEO satellites on 21 October 2011, this year’s Space Conference discussions focused on the first concrete results achieved by the European Space Policy as well as on the new objectives and challenges ahead. The proposal of the European Commission to leave the GMES programme outside the MFF 2014-2020 (outside the planning for the future EU-spending post 2014) was one of the key elements of discussion and reflection among the participants. The conference brought also this year together numerous representatives from the space and non-space community, politicians, decision makers, companies executives and the representatives of the civil society.
Mr. A. Bénéteau, NEREUS president, was also this year among the invited speakers. His intervention was scheduled in the fifth plenary session “Territorial Planning, Agriculture, Transport and Telecommunications” on the first day of political debate.
Mr. Bénéteau’s intervention focused on the need to boost the development of the space applications and services for the benefits of the European citizens. He admitted that European citizens still look suspiciously at space technologies and their applications and are therefore reluctant to using space based services. To date, the efforts made to bring together service providers and end-users have not been completely satisfactory. The problem lies in the services provided to the end-users which are not always matching their real needs. He underlined his view that it would be important to first identify the end-users needs and create services in reply to their requests. In other words, it is necessary to replace the top-down approach undertaken so far with the bottom-up approach that is more citizens oriented.