The Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, attended yesterday on behalf of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, the inauguration of the new building of the European Union Satellite Center, located at the Torrejón Air Base in Madrid, an event that also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the EU’s geospatial intelligence agency.
The visit was also attended by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Politics and Security, Josep Borrell. Both were received by the director of the center, Romanian diplomat Sorin Ducaru, with whom they toured the SATCEN facilities, which is key to the protection of interests and security in Europe.
“SATCEN, now configured as an agency of the common security and defense policy, is a fundamental milestone in the process by which the European Union has been equipping itself with instruments that guarantee its strategic autonomy,” the Minister of Defense declared in the center’s auditorium. She also assured that both Europe and Spain will continue to be committed to the values of peace, freedom and security in the world, especially in such difficult times as the current ones due to the situation in Ukraine.
For his part, the High Representative declared that “the future is going to be written in space”, which he defined as “the new battlefield”. “These are the eyes of Europe. Through this satellite center, in Europe, from Brussels, in all the capitals, we see what is happening. Before you decide what to do, you have to know what’s going on,” he added. “Space will be the new frontier also of geopolitics. It has taken on a strategic dimension, it has become congested. The elements we have there are going to increase our ability to be a geopolitical player. These are the eyes of Europe and we have to share them,” he added.
The Satellite Center was founded in 1992 as an analytical tool of the WEU (Western European Union). In 2002 it became part of the European Union and is today the EU’s geospatial intelligence agency. Its main mission is to support decision making at different levels within the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) of the EU, including support to the different missions and operations that have been part of this policy, such as IRINI, ATALANTA or EUTM Mali.
The European Union Satellite Center works under the supervision of the EU Political and Security Committee (PSC) and the direction of the High Representative, and is located within the Torrejón Air Base in Madrid. Spain has the largest representation in the center’s workforce, accounting for more than 45 percent of its 160 employees.