Last Reviewed: August 2023

France has been continuously consolidating a consistent policy, regulatory, structural and international framework to drive its national space efforts, both civilian and military. For the purpose of the Space Security Portal, France selected in priority relevant public space security-related materials.

France’s national space program is proposed and implemented by the Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES), the French Space Agency, under the supervision of the French government. CNES is a dual agency involved both in civil and military space programs. It is part of a broader space defense ecosystem which has been restructured in 2019, with the creation of the French Space Command, a few month after the release of the French Space Defence Strategy. This foundational document outlines the national assessment of the space strategic context and defines a cross-domain roadmap to adapt to this context. 

France is also member of the European Union (EU) and NATO, two organisations whose purpose and actions are relevant to space security in their respective areas of competences. France supports their efforts to communicate on their space-related activities and doctrines in a transparent manner. France will host the NATO Space Centre of Excellence in Toulouse, which is expected to be fully operational by 2025. Beyond that, France has developed numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements to bolster space cooperation, including in military space. At the international level, France is also actively engaged in international fora dealing with space security and stability, such as the UN First Committee and the Conference on Disarmament, and more recently in the UN Open-ended Working Group on reducing space threats through norms of responsible behaviour. Key contemporary French positions on space security include its political commitment not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) missile testing in November 2022.