Europe's space plans have suffered a setback after an ambitious four-year research proposal was vetoed by the European Commission.


Research commissioner Philippe Busquin presented his 30-page first draft of the initial communication on the Seventh tranche of research funding (RF7) to fellow commissioners last month. A senior source present at the chef de cabinet meeting says the first draft attempted to enshrine increased research into space projects.


Initial communications traditionally lay down broad goals, rather than a detailed description of content and other EC departments are understood to view the detailed programme description as an attempt to sidestep budget discussions scheduled for later this year.


The source says: "To present a detailed plan in the initial communication is not only wrong tactically, as it places all your cards on the table going into budget debates; but also deontologically, as he should have had more tact than to saddle the next commission with his agenda." The research directorate general was forced to withdraw the detailed initial communication and issue a scaled-down document.



Source: Flight International