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European Space Agency Packaging 2023 Programs

Updated: Aug 3

The influence that space activities have on both the economy and the society of Europe is becoming stronger as space becomes a more integral part of inhabitants' day-to-day life. European members of the government in responsibility of space operations got together for a traditional meeting called the Council Conference at Ministerial Level (CM22) to debate and reaffirm the commitment to the initiatives that the European Space Agency has planned for the future.

The following is a list of the pledges that a few of the countries have made and agreed on to collectively execute.

The European Commission

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton outlined four important goals that the EU would prefer to see ESA concentrate on.

First and foremost, investments should be made in totally secure connections and constellations that are headquartered in the EU. This would make it possible for European governments to have secured communication. As an illustration of one of the flagship initiatives that the EU would want to see developed, the minister provided the example of the IRIS, which is the EU Safe Connectivity Program.

Secondly, the funding in the upkeep of Copernicus & Galileo, in particular the modernization of Copernicus as well as the deployment of a new hybrid system which should combine the conventional EO services plus secure services for authorities.

Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date.

Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date. (Image credit: ESA)

Third, the encouragement of entrepreneurial endeavors in space with the goal of establishing Europe as a central location for international NewSpace businesses. And fourth, fully independent access to space by means of developing European launch services headquartered in the Union.


Germany has reiterated, much as France did, that top three priorities are the environment, the sovereignty of the EU, and economic rivalry in the new space sector. Germany emphasizes the need of keeping space launches accessible from European countries and adds additional goals, such as the prevention of debris and cooperation with other foreign partners.


France has reaffirmed its informal leadership of the European Space Agency (ESA) by presenting an effective four-point priority agenda.

Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of Finance, said at the beginning that there is a need for the EU to maintain its sovereignty by supporting and subsidizing European-based satellites, launches, constellations, and components. This priority is generally held by all members of the Union. Second, the importance of fostering competitiveness with international counterparts via the use of efficient budgets that have been carefully adjusted. Notably, France voiced their disapproval of the geo-return policy, alluding to the fact that although being based on a sound theory, it does not enable one to get the greatest goods at the most affordable price.

The European Space Agency has announced the first crop of new astronauts for over a decade.

The European Space Agency has announced the first crop of new astronauts for over a decade. (Image credit: ESA)

Climate is the third strategic objective for France, and it is considered as a significant aspect of the overall plan for the European Union to win support from its citizens. In conclusion, France emphasized the need of maintaining support for space travel beyond Earth in order to keep up with the competition on an international level.


Italy, the current third largest donor to ESA's budget, reaffirmed the country's commitment to supporting ESA's budget, particularly in the areas of human or robotic exploration as well as private-public collaboration. The Minister said that the space budget is still being evaluated as a result of the recent election.


Moreover, the Hungarian minister emphasized the importance of the space sector to the country's economic recovery and the country's support for peaceful space exploration.

The Minister of Foreign Matters and Trade thus reaffirmed Hungary's commitment to supporting ESA initiatives and efforts to increase the European Union's influence in international space affairs. Hungary has so promised to continue its 2019 level of financial support for ESA initiatives.

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The Minister also pledged ESA research and experiment slots for the 30-day space research mission of the Hungarian to Orbit (HUNOR) program, and provided some background information on the initiative.


The Norwegian Minister emphasized the importance of ESA's knowledge, tools, and connections to the growth of Norway's space sector. Therefore, Norway has promised to continue providing funding for the ESA's voluntary initiatives at their existing levels. Norway's investment in space reflects the minister's belief in the strategic significance of space there in the present day.


The minister of the Netherlands said that Dutch businesses and organizations are investing 150 million Euros in a private and public effort to develop optical transmission modules in partnership with the European Space Agency.

Moreover, The Netherlands have begun developing, with ESA, a new generation of pollution monitoring technologies. The Dutch Minister said his country would keep an eye on ESA's scientific program despite cuts to its funding.

The Dutch government has also indicated that it may provide funds to the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to help pay for the agency's plans to upgrade the European Space Operations Center and the European Space Research & Technology Center (ESTEC).

United Kingdom

The Minister from the United Kingdom further said that the Director-General has agreed a "strong package of investment" to enhance UK funding for the Agency. After praising the many ways in which the ESA has helped the area, especially via the establishment of European Space Partnership and Corporation, he remarked.

The Minister emphasized the need to demonstrate that the United Kingdom is not only funding space research throughout an economic recession, but also reaping the benefits of this endeavor through the acquisition, production, and launch of commercially viable satellites in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) region.

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