ELIAMEP’s Working Paper no 22 authored by Alexandros K. Kolovos aims to inform Decision Makers in Greece about the actions needed to be taken in the field of space exploitation. Although the general framework for such a debate has been set at the European level by the European Space Policy (2007), both its content and its recommendations have been largely ignored in Greece. The main indigenous deficit is the necessary institutional organization, although many relevant initiatives have taken place during the last fifteen years, in vain. Greece lacks any national Space Policy and a focal point for these issues. On the other hand this shortfall has not prevented the development of many fragmented actions in this area, which rationally should follow the definition of a National Policy. These activities constitute an “unofficial space programme”, which, in some cases has a high cost and do not cover the needs of all possible users for various reasons, in which the lack of cooperation and coordination play a dominant role, in the absence of a centralized structure. The analysis finds that at the EU level the challenge of space exploitation is developed in the framework of the Competitiveness Council (with emphasis on the enterprises and industry),  while in Greece the relevant EU and ESA programmes are supervised by the Ministry of Education, Lifelong learning and Religious Affairs, with emphasis given on research. Other national actors have allocated considerable funds for their activities. The intervention proposes several options that have been followed by other countries and believes that rationally, these choices should be used for elaboration. The analysis points out that the space assets are “systems for consumption” which should be directed to meet the needs of all end-users and concludes that without a leading centralized actor, responsible for coordinating, planning, and controlling where the resources are spent, it is impossible to build any coherent long-term and essential space programme, based on true national needs. The Government could solicit a Wise Men group to deliver a report, examining the current situation, choices and proposing various solutions to be debated.

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Title National organization for Space exploitation in Greece: choices for decision makers
Author Alexandros K. Kolovos
Edition WP22, September 2011