Defence was also an increasingly relevant topic last year and remains a hot topic in 2022.

In Europe, for instance, space and defence matters were placed under the same Directorate-General – DEFIS (DG for Defence Industry and Space), which leads the European Commission's activities in the Defence Industry and Space sector. Moreover, the first European Defence Fund, for the period 2021-2027, was launched, with a budget of close to EUR 8 billion to finance research and development, including on the space sector. The first calls for proposals was published in June 2021. During the European Space Conference 2022, the defence dimension was also highlighted as a top priority, with a European Space & Defence Strategy to be expected by next year and the possibility of establishing a European Space Command being addressed.

In several countries, dedicated approaches to space or reinforcement of space military capabilities have been pursued. This is the case, for instance, of the creation of the UK Space Command in April 2021, of the performance of the first military exercises in France in 2021 by the French Space Forces Command or of the growth of the US Space Force budget and staff. In Portugal, as well, the National Defence Strategy for Space 2020-2030 was approved.

Nevertheless, the UN First Committee on Disarmament and International Security approved five draft resolutions on the peaceful use and non-weaponization of space in November 2021. Notably, it was decided to convene an Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), meeting twice in 2022 and 2023, to make recommendations on possible norms of responsible behaviours.