The ASD industry in the EU Portuguese Presidency

19 January 2021

In the Portuguese Presidency semester, the EU Council looks at the Defence and Space sectors and the importance of Clusters in industrial policy.

Portugal started this month the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will continue until the 30th of June. Although still marked by the social and economic challenges imposed by the pandemic, the national presidency established goals to look to the future, betting on the collaborative and innovative strength of companies for the recovery.

Work torwards a Resilient, Green, Digital, Social and Global Europe are the five priorities identified in this mandate, whose motto is “Time to act: for a fair, green and digital recovery”.

In order to successfully implement this motto, the Portuguese Presidency considers the business fabric’s actions of vital importance, highlighting the role of Clusters in the process:

“The Portuguese Presidency will work on the concept of “industrial ecosystems” and stimulate the creation of European clusters, exploring synergies between sectors, value chains and Member States, and the approximation between the knowledge and technology production in the companies, strengthening the network of digital innovation hubs.”

The Space and Defence sectors are also a reference target in the document that advocates Europe’s strategic agenda for the next 6 months.

In the Space sector, the concept of “New Space” is a priority for the Presidency, which aims to stimulate “the development and use of space technologies and applications in non-space sectors and public policies, given its impact on European productivity and competitiveness”. Support for SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurial activities will be prioritized.

In the Defence sector, the goal is to reinforce the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), operationalizing actions based on EU’s Global Strategy already defined. Particular attention will be paid to relations with NATO and Africa and the sectors of activity identified as priorities are cybersecurity, defence and maritime surveillance, military mobility and response to complex emergencies.

The Aeronautics sector is not mentioned directly but it is possible to see that there is a focus on the mobility industry, with sustainability (“Green Europe”) and the technological and innovative capacity of the industry (“Digital Europe”) being the main guidelines for companies operating in this sector.

“We will encourage new digital solutions and strategies for the green transition, in the fields of health, research and innovation (R&I), industrial property, justice and mobility”. “We will promote the objectives of decarbonisation, energy efficiency (…) and sustainable mobility”.

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