Brussels, 12 Feb 2004
Proposal for a
on the conclusion of the Framework Agreement between the European Community and the European Space Agency
1. The Framework Agreement between the European Community, on the one part, and the European Space Agency, on the other part, identifies cooperation on space as an area of particular interest and potential, which will contribute to European cohesion and economic growth at the direct service of European citizens.
2. Following the Communication "Europe and Space: Turning to a new chapter"1 of 2000 and the subsequent ESA and EU Council Resolutions on the European Space Strategy, a Joint Task Force was set up by the European Commission and the Executive of ESA.
3. In its report from 2001, the Joint Task assessed all aspects of the co-operation between the European Union and the European Space Agency. The report formed the basis for the Communication of the Commission entitled "Towards a European Space Policy".2
4. One of the main conclusions of the Communication was that a successful development and implementation of a European Space Policy requires the establishment of a formal (Framework Agreement) relation between the European Community and the European Space Agency, which defines the principles and mechanisms of a reinforced co- operation.
5. Accordingly, the Commission adopted on February 14, 2002 a Communication "Framework Agreement between the European Community and the European Space Agency",3 in which it outlined its perception of the main contents of such an agreement and in which it proposed to the council to negotiate such an agreement on behalf of the Community.
6. The Framework Agreement was negotiated in accordance with the EU Council and ESA-Executive mandates,4 by the authorized representatives of the two parties.
7. The Commission submitted to the Council a proposal for a Council Decision authorising the signing of the above mentioned Agreement. The Council adopted this decision on October 20,2003 and the Agreement was signed on November 25, 2003 in Brussels, by the authorized representatives of the two parties.
8. In addition, the Framework Agreement also plays a major role in the development of an European Space Policy, as indicated in the White paper entitled, "Space: a new European frontier for an expanding Union. An action plan for implementing the European Space policy",5 issued as a response to the Green paper on a "European Space Policy".6
9. This Framework Agreement, to be concluded for a period of four years, shall be automatically extended for subsequent periods of four years unless written notification of any of the parties of the intention to terminate it, notification to be due at least one year prior to the expiration of any of the periods of duration.
10. The Agreement is based on the principles of efficiency and mutual benefit in order to avoid any duplication of effort to achieve a coherent and progressive development of an overall European Space Policy.
11. The Agreement provides for:
A link between demand for services and applications using space systems in support of the Community policies.
Common basis and appropriate operational arrangements.
Cooperation mechanisms subject to the applicable laws, tasks and regulations in force on each side, including financial provisions, and in full respect of their institutional settings.
Cooperation objectives: securing Europe's independence access to space; ensuring that the European Space Policy takes into particular account the policies pursued by the Community; consolidate the cooperation between the Parties, linking demand and supply and, achieving coherence and synergy of research and development to optimise resources.
12. In the light of the above-mentioned considerations, the Commission proposes that the Council:
approves on behalf of the Community, and after consultation of the European Parliament, the Framework Agreement between the European Community and the European Space Agency;
notify to the European Space Agency that the procedures necessary for the entry into force of the Agreement have been completed on the part of the European Community.