In view of national and international developments in the space sector, the Federal Council decided on 16 February to update Switzerland's space policy and draw up a draft bill on space activities. The space sector is considered to be a growing sector with promising prospects for the future. An updated space policy will serve as a compass for Switzerland's future actions in this sector.
The space sector has changed significantly in recent years. The use of space applications has become part of everyday life in government, industry and society, resulting in increased dependence on these applications. The number of public and private stakeholders is also growing, as is the number of Swiss stakeholders, whose space activities are becoming increasingly important. In light of these developments, it has become necessary to update the Swiss space policy of 2008.
The following areas are to be addressed in the update: the implementation of national and international programmes; the growing importance of space for the economy, society and security policy; environmental issues with regard to space activities, sustainability and satellite frequency coordination and the need for coordination at federal and international level. The space sector is considered to be a growing sector with promising prospects for the future. An updated space policy will serve as a compass for Switzerland’s future activities in this sector.
The updated policy is also to be used as a guideline for preparing a draft bill on national space activities for consultation. Following its mandate of 18 December 2020, the Federal Council took note of the possibilities for implementing the UN space treaties that Switzerland ratified in the 1970s. A national space law would not only provide Switzerland with a legal framework for its international obligations, but also increase legal certainty for all stakeholders involved in this domain. This will enable the Confederation to balance the interests of the various stakeholders, to align itself with the accepted standards of the global space sector, and to strengthen Switzerland’s attractiveness in this high-tech sector.
These two projects will be prepared by the EAER together with the departments concerned and submitted to the Federal Council at the end of April 2023 (update of the Swiss space policy) and at the end of June 2024 (draft bill on national space activities for consultation) respectively.