In the context of European space research programmes, priority will be given to actions addressing the vulnerability of European supply chains by supporting the development of critical space components, systems and technologies associated with the technological non-dependence. 

A coordinated and coherent European institutional approach has been established, targeting the development of critical space technologies and products for European Strategic Non-Dependence. 

The ESA Technology Harmonisation Advisory Group (THAG) was extended to include the European Commission and EDA and their National Delegates, for Non-Dependence issues. 

Edmund Williams

Head of Technology Coordination & Planning Office

Why it is needed 

Relying on restricted sources outside Europe has negative impacts on European industry. 

This can result in longer lead times, increased costs and the potential non-availability for some European satellite manufacturers to high-end technologies and/or the detailed knowledge to use the technologies in the most optimal way. 

To avoid growing dependency from non-European sources, and to avoid cases of world-wide unique sources, Europe needs to increase its technological investments and to foster harmonisation between all the European actors.


The first stage involved all European stakeholders (the European Commission, ESA, EDA, Research, SMEs, Industry, ..), to build a complete mapping of critical technologies for European Strategic Nondependence. It is followed by the planning of the way ahead in the form of a European Nondependence List, including recommendations for their implementation, as appropriate. As a final step, the European Nondependence List will be implemented in National and European Programmes. 

The implementation of the actions identified in the European Nondependence list is approached individually by the three organisations and their Member States using their available instruments for implementation and prioritisation. 

The European Commission, EDA and ESA perform a yearly monitoring of the implementation progress of the overall list. In 2019, the three institutions performed the 5th exercise of the Nondependence process, establishing a list of urgent actions for implementation in 2021-2023.