The International Institute of Space Law (IISL) had the pleasure to host the Special Event “Towards European Space Legislation” on 20 September 2022. IISL President Kai-Uwe Schrogl introduced the Session and welcomed special guest Member of European Parliament Niklas Nienaß, who presented the concept for a European approach to regulating space activities.

The goal of the underlying initiative, which is rooted in a report prepared by IISL Members, is to take an international approach to space regulation considering that space is a global common and thus concerns the international community as a whole. It shall also prepare the EU as an actor, meeting international legal obligations as well as to provide a sound legal and regulatory environment throughout the EU for meeting the aspirations in the space policy, economy, industry, programmes, applications, services and uses. For this purpose, Nienaß explained, the specific responsibilities of its Member States in this field as State Parties to the international treaties shall be taken into account. To achieve these goals, he aims to use a five-step approach.

During the following Q&A session, the audience requested clarification as concerns the compliance of the proposal with Article 189 TFEU and was curious to know if a change of that legal provision is intended. Niklas Nienaß clarified that from a legal perspective a complex and multi-year process of changing the provision would be required. In view of the rapid changes of the outer space environment and related challenges a political approach, such as the one proposed under the initiative, is considered preferable in his point of view as it would facilitate faster developments.