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European Union in Space: Law and Technology


European institutions agree in considering space activities and applications vital to our society’s growth and development, also in view of their direct impact on citizens’ daily lives. Since the Nineties of the last century, the EU has committed in the development of a European Space Policy, investing a great deal of financial, technical and political resources in promoting and carrying out European Space Programmes and boosting the use and the integration of space-based applications in several EU policies. This action was further strengthened with the introduction of an express and specific competence on space within the title concerning “research and technological development and space” by the Lisbon Treaty (art. 189 TFEU).

Despite the importance of space policy at EU level, however, the study and training in this field is not yet properly developed neither at national nor at EU level. Legal and technical operators who approach this sector, necessarily need an interdisciplinary background, including the knowledge of:

  1. EU law and EU policies where space technologies can be integrated and applied, including a clear understanding of the relationship between international space law and EU space policy;
  2. technical features of these new technologies, devices and applications, in order to identify relevant legal issues under the applicable international, private and EU law;
  3. functioning and competences of other national and international organizations dealing with space related issues, with whom the EU is bound to cooperate and to establish appropriate relations.

To this purpose, an intensive interdisciplinary course covering the main (legal and technological) issues connected to the uses of space-based applications, in the context of EU legal framework, has been financed by the EU, EACEA, through the Erasmus + Programme, Jean Monnet Module, within the project Space4U: EU law, policies, actions & technology.

Such an initiative will consist in a Summer Course, carried out at the University of Genoa, free of charge for the participants. The course will consist of one week lectures each year (8 hours per day for 5 days) and will be held in English. It aims to attract doctoral and post doctoral students, as well as researchers and young professionals in law, political science and engineering (the participation will be opened also to students who have attended at least a three years’ study university course in the above-mentioned areas). The lectures will be held by academics from Italian and foreign Universities, as well as operators in the field of space industries and institutions (e.g. Ansaldo STS, Alenia, European Space Agency and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana). Specific workshops will be held in order to promote the contacts of the participants with enterprises. At the end of the project, an international conference will be held in order to stimulate the debate on this innovative field of study through the technical, professional, academic and legal community.

The outputs of the Project will be: (i) a specific training on new key technologies and their legal implications; (ii) the creation of a network of specialised operators in the field of space-based applications; to this purpose, (iii) a dedicated web-site will be created also to allow participants and lecturers to keep in touch continuously during the three years period and after; (iv) an open source publication will collect the contributions of the speakers to the summer schools and to the international conference (e-book).


This year the main topic will be “Outer space activities as a glue between past and future: new actors, new frontiers and multidisciplinary approaches"

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this year the Summer School will take place virtually through online live streaming sessions on 19-23 July 2021

Call for applications

Further information will be given to the registered students. Check out the Facebook page.