Signature of a Framework Agreement with the European Space Agency

November 26, 2003

Brussels, 25 Nov 2003

A Framework Agreement between the European Community and the European Space Agency (ESA) was signed today:

For the European Community, by:
Ms. Letizia MORATTI, Italian Minister for Education, Universities and Research, and
Mr. Philippe BUSQUIN, Commissaire chargé de la Recherche.

For the European Space Agency, by:
Mr. Jean-Jacques DORDAIN, Director General ESA.

This framework Agreement is aimed at developing an overall European Space Policy notably by securing Europe's independent and cost-effective access to space. The establishment of this Agreement provides a common basis and appropriate operational arrangements for a mutually beneficial cooperation between the EC and the ESA.

The cooperation between the Parties will be pursued in the following specific fields: science, technology, earth observation, navigation, communication by satellite, human space flight and micro-gravity, launchers, spectrum policy or other areas that could be identified at a later stage.

The Agreement also provides with different forms to carry out joint initiatives by the Parties. In order to coordinate and facilitate cooperative activities, a "Space Council" is set up at a ministerial level composed by members of the Council of the EU and the Council of ESA.

The Agreement has an initial duration of four years.

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