Over the next five years, the European Union will invest 2.4 billion euros in installing a communication system for European governments in space.
The programme” puts the EU ‘at the forefront of secure satellite communications’, says European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager. Member States and the European Parliament have agreed to the project, dubbed IRIS square (IRIS²).
According to the EU’s day-to-day administration, it is of the utmost importance that Europe has a secure network of its own telecommunications satellites to be less dependent on third parties, such as the United States.
Moreover, such a system makes internet and other services possible in places in the European Union where ground networks are missing or are disrupted. The EU also wants to use communication satellites for defence purposes.
The public tender for the satellite systems is expected to start early next year. It is the EU’s third space programme, alongside the civilian global satellite navigation system Galileo and the Earth observation program Copernicus.