Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defence, opened the 11th annual conference on European space policy this morning at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. Minister Reynders stressed that it is essential for Europe to maintain the highest level of ambition.
Technological developments and the arrival of new players in recent years underline that Europe needs to ensure free access to and build strategic autonomy in space. The growing political and commercial interest in space requires, among others, that the European Union fully integrates its space policy into its international action and proactively engages in ongoing discussions on global space governance.
Since the 1960s, Belgium has made a substantial contribution to the development of the European space sector. Our country remains at the forefront of the development of launching equipment and satellites, as well as solutions for monitoring our planet. 50 years after the first United Nations conference on outer space, Belgium also continues to engage in the development of a multilateral legal framework which recognizes both individual rights and the collective benefit of mankind to explore and to use space resources.
With this goal in mind, Minister Reynders will sign a joint declaration tomorrow in the margins of the conference, with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in which both countries will engage, together with our European partners, to work on an international framework for the exploration and use of space resources.