Minister Kupka discussed space programmes in Luxembourg and presented the priorities 14/6/2022|Press releasesFurther development of the Copernicus programme, the competitiveness of the European Union's space activities and the upcoming Czech Presidency of the EU Council. These were some of the topics discussed at today's meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council of Ministers responsible for space activities in Luxembourg. Transport Minister Martin Kupka attended this meeting on behalf of the Czech Republic. "The current war in Ukraine shows us the importance of having our own secure communications with global reach and the ability to obtain our own satellite data. I am glad that the Czech Presidency of the EU Council will contribute to common European goals and thus to the strengthening of Europe's competitiveness, independence and security," said Transport Minister Martin Kupka. At the meeting the ministers of EU 27 agreed on the future direction of the Copernicus satellite programme. The Czech Republic supports its further development, especially in observation capacities. For the Czech Republic it is essential to continue existing observations, increase the spatial resolution of satellite images and expand into new areas of observation, which will enable the development of completely new applications, for example for so-called smart cities, forestry, national infrastructure monitoring, etc. The system should also respond to current developments, user needs and the security situation. The purpose of the Copernicus programme is to provide timely and reliable data for environmental monitoring, territorial development, atmospheric monitoring, security, infrastructure, natural resource management, etc. The Sentinel observation satellite constitutes its backbone. The data and underlying services are available free of charge for use for government, the private sector and research. The ministers also endorsed a common EU approach to space traffic management. Long-term sustainability and organisation of orbital operations and the establishment of rules on the global level are seen by the Czech Republic as extremely important, because they are a prerequisite for the actual launch and safe operation of satellite systems. A common European approach in this matter will then give a stronger negotiating position and avoid dependence on standards developed elsewhere. The resilience and competitiveness of the EU space programme was also discussed. The Czech Republic can see that the strengthening of the resilience of EU space infrastructures also leads to the strengthening of the security of the EU as such. The Czech Republic agrees that the European Union needs independent access to space and that critical technologies need to be produced within the EU. In this respect, we also stress the need to get everything out of European capacities and to strengthen cooperation also on the institutional level. This primarily involves satellite navigation, Earth observation and satellite communications. At the end, Minister Martin Kupka presented the Czech Republic's priorities in space activities for the upcoming EU Presidency. These will include the continuation of the discussion on the draft regulation on Secure Connectivity. Our aim is to build a space infrastructure of many hundreds of satellites that will provide safe, reliable and affordable autonomous connectivity for EU users. The system shall provide services for government purposes and broadband data connection to the internet that can be offered commercially by European telecommunications operators to end customers. Other priorities include the use of data from EU satellite systems and the strengthening of European cooperation in space activities. The Czech Republic will also organise several events in the Czech Republic during its Presidency, including the European Space Week and the European Space Start-Up Conference.