A Galileo satellite in orbit. Commission plans for an EU Agency for the Space Programme could cost time and money, the head of the ESA has warned
Photo: European Space Agency
The EU’s commitment to the space race comes at a price, and it announces tariffs on US goods as of next month. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
EU space plans under fire
A suggestion by the European Commission to rebrand the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency as the 'EU Agency for the Space Programme' has caused consternation at the European Space Agency. The Guardian reports that ESA director general Jan Wörner warned that the restructuring would “take decades and cost billions”. The move comes as the commission committed on Wednesday to devote €16 billion to help “maintain and further enhance the EU's leadership in space.” The new agency would increasingly make key decisions over the EU’s overall space programme. But Wörner has argued that the ESA needs “to streamline, not double administrative layers.”
EU unveils “proportionate” trade response
The European Union is to take what it calls a “measured and proportionate response” to tariffs imposed by the United States on steel and aluminium. Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič said that the EU regretted the White House’s “illegal” act but announced “rebalancing” tariffs on about €2.8bn of US imports starting 1 July. The products targeted include steel but also jeans, bourbon and motorcycles (as previously announced) as well as peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice. The Guardian reports that further tariffs of €3.6bn on US products could be imposed if the trade dispute is still ongoing in 3 years’ time.
Spain gets majority-female cabinet
New Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez has unveiled his cabinet, which features 11 women and six men. Speaking on Wednesday evening, the socialist premier said that it was the first majority-female cabinet since Spain returned to democracy after the death of Franco in 1975. Sánchez, who replaced the ousted Mariano Rajoy after a no-confidence vote last week, said that his government is “unmistakably committed to equality”.
Amazon commits to UK
Online retailer Amazon has announced it is to create more than 2,500 jobs in the UK this year. Amazon UK country manager Doug Kerr is quoted in The Guardian as saying that the UK was important both as a consumer market and as a source of talent and that although there was uncertainty over post-Brexit trading rules, the company would “wait and see what happens and adapt as necessary.”
Two climbers have set a landmark record for the ascent of the iconic El Capitan monolith in the Yosemite Valley. On Wednesday Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell scaled the 3,000ft sheer granite wall in under two hours, an achievement that has been compared to Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile in 1954.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts