Status: 11/17/2022 9:22 p.m
It is an important step towards more independence for Europe: The EU wants to enable secure communication with a new satellite network. This should also protect the critical infrastructure better than before.
The EU wants to ensure secure communication for companies and citizens with a satellite network. Negotiators from the EU Parliament and the member states agreed to set up a so-called satellite constellation called Iris² (Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnection and Security by Satellites). For this purpose, 2.4 billion euros are to come from the EU budget in the coming years.
“This is historic!” Wrote the responsible EU Commissioner Thierry Breton on Twitter after the agreement. The EU is thus adding a third component to its strategic space infrastructure – the Galileo and Copernicus satellite navigation system, which is used for earth observation.
Protection of energy grids and healthcare
“This program is an important step towards more strategic autonomy in Europe,” said CSU MEP Angelika Niebler. The war in Ukraine has shown that the EU has so far been completely dependent on third countries or private companies for satellite telecommunications. “The program decided today is intended to change this.”
Above all, Iris² is intended to ensure the resilience of the EU systems – also to protect critical infrastructure such as energy networks or healthcare – as well as the access of citizens and companies to fast Internet. Not only should radio dead spots in Europe be filled with high-speed Internet, but the connection should also be made possible in strategic regions such as Africa and the Arctic. The new services should be fully operational from 2027.
The agreement still has to be formally confirmed by the EU Parliament and the states, but this is considered a formality.