Space, defense and European security discussed at Europe's spaceport

The WEU Assembly and the European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) are jointly holding a conference on space, defence and European security in Kourou, French Guiana from 19-22 September 2006, at the invitation of the European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency (CNES) and Arianespace.

Numerous members of the national parliaments of European countries, as well as representatives of the European Parliament and the EU Military Staff and Satellite Centre, will be attending, alongside leading figures from Europe's space industry. The conference will address the various aspects of a European Space Policy having regard to security and defence, with a particular focus on the technological and industrial capacities needed to achieve such a policy.

WEU Assembly President Jean-Pierre Masseret (Senator, F), EISC President François Roelants du Vivier (Senator, B) and WEU Assembly Technological & Aerospace Committee Chairman Edward O'Hara (MP, UK) will be opening the proceedings. Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall will present the launch facilities in Kourou.

During the first session on 20 September, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, CNES President Yannick d'Escatha and representatives of European institutions will put forward their ideas on the development of a European Space Policy. "We are taking a further step towards the definition a European Space Policy with a view to next year's concrete developments", explains Jean Jacques Dordain.

During the second session, on 21 September, François Auque and Alain Charmeau from Astrium, Jean-Paul Herteman from the Safran Group's aeronautics & space propulsion department, José María Martí Fluxá from Indra Espacio and Pascale Sourisse from Alcatel -Alenia Space will identify the technological and industrial capacities needed to develop a genuine European Space Policy.

The participants will be briefed on the Ariane 5 and Vega launch installations and visit the new Soyuz site.

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