Air and Space Policy > Belgian Air and Space Policy

Belgian Space Policy: An ever-changing context

The international context in which the above-mentioned major European programmes were decided upon in the seventies and eighties changed radically at the beginning of the nineties due to various factors:

  • The political upheavals in Eastern Europe, opening the way to cooperation with the Russian space potential;
  • The confirmation of Japan as a new space power and consolidation of American leadership in this field;
  • The emergence of large civilian space markets, especially in telecommunications, direct broadcasting and the multimedia, thus highlighting the role of space in an information society on a planetary scale;
  • The rapid development of general-interest space applications linked to the use of satellites;
  • Budgetary restrictions in both Europe and North America, leading to a slowdown or redefinition of various space programmes;
  • The interest shown by the European Union in space as an instrument for its policies.

The European Space Agency was forced to adapt its policy to this new context, bringing its objectives into line with the budgetary resources available in its Member States.

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