On June 16, Airbus and SAFRAN announced the creation of JV to produce new family of launchers (see wide array of articles in the net, for example this one from Aviation Week).
Overall, the effects of the Airbus and SAFRAN JV could be dramatic for European space sector
-Arianespace integration in JV structure
-Consolidation of launcher design teams in ESA, CNES and the JV
-Consolidation of production facilities around « JV site »
So what next? First, Airbus and SAFRAN need to integrate their launcher activities. Secondly, Arianespace future needs to be decided. In the same timeframe, there needs to be a discussion on CNES/ESA and Industry launcher design teams roles and responsibilities. Finally, wider asset consolidation (production facilities) should not start after ESA European Council decisions in December, i.e in 2015.