The European Union Governmental Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM) programme aims to provide secure, resilient and cost-efficient satellite communications capabilities to security and safety critical missions and governmental operations managed by the EU and its Member States, including national security actors and EU Agencies and institutions.

Supporting EU Space Policy

GOVSATCOM is a user-centric programme with a strong security dimension.

GOVSATCOM is one of the elements of the Global Strategy for the European Union's Foreign and Security Policy of June 2016. The Programme will contribute to the EU’s response to specific threats and will provide support to the EU Maritime Strategy and the EU Arctic Policy.

Three main use cases:

  1. Crisis management, which may include civilian and military by common security and defence missions and operations, natural and man-made disasters, humanitarian crises and maritime emergencies.
  2. Surveillance, such as border and maritime surveillance or surveillance of illegal trafficking.
  3. Key infrastructures, e.g. Institutional Communications, various types of Critical Infrastructure, including Transport as well as EU space infrastructures such as Galileo and EGNOS.

Building the GOVSATCOM programme

The implementation of the GOVSATCOM component of the EU Space Programme started in 2021, under the new EU Space Programme Regulation.

The GOVSATCOM programme is being established by pooling the capacity of governmental and commercial satellite communication providers and sharing that capacity with authorised governmental users. EUSPA has been entrusted with preparatory activities, including the establishment, growth, coordination and management of the network of future EU GOVSATCOM users, with the aim to build a solid user perspective to build the GOVSATCOM mission upon.

The network, developed under ENTRUSTED Horizon Europe project, counted 25 organisations, including Member States and EU Agencies. Led and coordinated by EUSPA, the network compiled and understood user needs and defined a detailed roadmap for developing innovative GOVSATCOM user technology.

EUSPA is also working to help define the security baseline of the programme, which will be essential to ensuring that GOVSATCOM adequately meets the security needs of its users. Furthermore, the agency is defining the architecture for the programme’s secure ground infrastructure, known as the GOVSATCOM Hubs.

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Meeting user needs

The GOVSATCOM services shall meet the needs of authorised users charged with the supervision and management of security-critical missions and operations. For this class of users, SATCOM security must be commensurate with the level of acceptable risks when using the service. This, for example, includes:

  • Assurance that the GOVSATCOM service or resources are guaranteed and cannot be pre-empted by non-governmental users or third parties
  • Resilience against jamming and interference
  • Protection against interception and intrusion
  • Protection against cybersecurity threats
  • Non-dependence on third parties