On November the 19th 2019, the debate entitled „Prague’s Guide to the Galaxy: From GSA to EU Agency for the Space Programme“ took place in the premises of the Prague House in Brussels. The event was organised by the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU together with the Delegation of Prague to the EU, Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic and the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency.
The headquarters of the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency GSA resides in Prague since 2012 and at the moment it is the only EU agency based in the Czech Republic. GSA focuses not only on the European area but provides space services on a global scale. It employs nearly 200 people from 21 European countries and is responsible for the operation of the European satellite navigation programs Galileo and EGNOS. In the upcoming years, the Prague agency should expand substantially and get a new face. In February, the European institutions decided to bring together all EU space programs in Prague and the GSA will become the EU Space Program Agency (EUSPA) from 2021 onwards. The number of employees should increase to 700. Having the largest European technology agency in Prague is a great prestige for the Czech Republic. GSA-related projects positively support the Czech economy as it provides numerous opportunities for technological companies. The number of Czech firms that are now getting research and development funds linked to navigation services has increased 10-fold
The panel debate featured Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the GSA, Martina Dlabajová, MEP and member of Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Matthias Petschke, Director for EU Satellite Navigation Programmes at the European Commission, Václav Kobera, Director of Intelligent Transport Systems, Space Activities and R D and Innovation Department at the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic and Jan Dobrovský, Director of the Project Management Department of the City of Prague. The business sector in the field was represented by Luboš Kučera, Managing Director of GISAT.