Clear path to signature of EU-ESA framework agreement

November 14, 2003

Brussels, 13 Nov 2003

Negotiations on a framework agreement between the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA) came to a close on 12 November when the ESA Council adopted the draft agreement already approved by the Competitiveness Council.

The agreement sets out two main aims: the coherent and progressive development of a European space policy, and agreement on practical arrangements for mutually beneficial cooperation, which respect the institutional and operational frameworks of each party. It commits the two entities to working together and avoiding duplication of effort.

For the first time the EU will be able to participate in ESA optional programmes, while ESA could now opt to manage EU space activities.

'This agreement will facilitate the setting up of new joint projects and provide a stable framework for ESA-EU cooperation that will benefit European citizens,' said ESA Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain.

For further information on the EU's activities in the field of space, please visit:
http:///europa.eu.int/comm/space/index_en.html

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