Prague space agency to get competency boost

The European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (European GNSS Agency; GSA) headquarters on February 11, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic. [Shutterstock/J Morc]

MEPs on Wednesday approved a new  European Space programme with a seven-year budget of €14.8 billion uniting all EU space activities in one place and expanding the scope and strengthening the competencies of Prague-based European GNSS Agency (GSA). The decision needs to be confirmed by member states.

As a part of the change, the GSA will be transformed into the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) in the coming years. The agency’s 200 current staff will also be tripled in the process.

The agency, which currently operates the Galileo navigation satellite system, will also manage the earth monitoring system Copernicus, and the new intergovernmental communication programme, GOVSATCOM.

One of the regulation’s shadow rapporteurs and a key figure behind the policy, Czech conservative MEP Evžen Tošenovský (Civic Democrats, ECR), said the agency’s reform should put Czechia at the very top of space technology.

(Ondřej Plevák | EURACTIV.cz)

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