Politicians warn that Corona Virus could shrink the space industry in Europe

Seven lawmakers, the European Parliament, are pressing for a recuperation plan for space firms that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These members wrote a letter to Thierry Bretton, who is the commissioner administering space at the executive branch in the EU, explaining to him that the European sector is estimated to reduce to up to $1.08 billion in 2020, which is correspondent to 12.5% of the industry’s consolidated revenue.

In a 30th April letter obtained by SpaceNews, the parliamentarians stated that the Coronavirus pandemic is heading to a sharp economic downfall and a considerable depletion of international trade, which will have a massive impact on the European space sector. The economic recession may head to a quick capacity and capability loss that will include highly specialized technical and organizational skills, which may take years to reconstruct if the measures not quickly eased.

These seven members are from different countries in the EU, whereby two come from France that is Manual Bompaid and Christophe Grudler. The other two come from Italy that is Massimiliano Salini and Andrea Caroppo, while the remaining three come from Germany name; Damian Boeselager, Portugal name; Carlos Zorrinho, and the Czech Republic (Evzen Tosenovsky).

The members also said that due to the Corona Virus pandemic, it becomes more critical for the European Union to at least commit a 17 billion dollars level to seek its space program for the next six years. Whereby they should include a Corona Virus recuperation plan for Europe in the European Union’s Multiannual Financial Framework, the recovery plan would plan at allowing space-based services that would contribute to the overall economic recovery. They also advised that the European Union mustn’t let Corona Virus slow down the procurement procedure for the Galileo and Copernicus satellite programs.

In an interview with SpaceNews on 6th May, Sonya Gospodinova, the spokesperson to the European Commission, told the SpaceNews that they had received the letter from Breton, and that would give a reply as soon as possible without confirming the exact time it would occur.

On 30th April, Eurospace, which is a European space industry group, published a paper containing the steps European space firms want the European Union to take to help them during the Corona Virus pandemic. These steps include; the European Union becoming a primary customer for space products, the EU absorbing the space industry into the EU security initiatives, and boosting the funding for study and development of space technology.