Institutions of ESP coordination
European Space Policy activities are coordinated by a ministerial level Space Council, a Joint Secretariat and a high level space policy group.
According to Article 8 of the EC-ESA Framework Agreement, the coordination and facilitation of cooperative activities between the EU and ESA is accomplished by regular joint and concomitant meetings of the Council of the European Union and of the Council of ESA at ministerial level ("Space Council").
The duties of the Space Council include:
- providing orientations (or guidelines) to support the achievement of the objectives of the Framework Agreement and identifying actions required;
- making recommendations, in particular related to the main elements of the specific arrangements;
- advising on ways to enhance cooperation consistent with the principles set out in the Framework Agreement;
- reviewing the effective and efficient functioning of the Framework Agreement.
To this end, the Council issues orientations and resolutions. Since its inception in 2004, five Space Council meetings took place:
- 1st Space Council - Orientations from the first Space Council on the preparation of the European Space Programme [134 KB] , Council of the European Union, 25 November 2004
- 2nd Space Council - Orientations from the second Space Council [99 KB] , Council of the European Union, 7 June 2005
- 3rd Space Council - Orientations from the third Space Council on Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) [132 KB] , Council of the European Union, 28 November 2005
- 4th Space Council - Resolution on the European Space Policy [118 KB] - Brussels, 22 May 2007
- 5th Space Council - Council Resolution - Taking forward the European Space Policy [149 KB] , 26 September 2008
- 6th Space Council - Council Resolution on "The Contribution of space to innovation and competitiveness in the context of the European Economic Recovery Plan, and further steps ", Brussels, 15 June 2009.
- 7th Space Council - Council Resolution "Global challenges: taking full benefit of European space systems ", Brussels, 25 November 2010.
The EC-ESA Framework Agreement provides for a Secretariat to assist the Space Council meetings and implement the guidelines provided by it. The EC-ESA Joint Secretariat, established in 2004 after the signature of the Framework Agreement, is also the operational-level coordinator of cooperative activities between the EU and ESA under the Framework Agreement. The Joint Secretariat is composed of officials of the European Commission and the ESA Executive.
The Resolution adopted by the ministers of EU and ESA member countries at the Space Council in May 2007 expressed strong support to the European Space Policy invites the European Commission and the ESA Executive to establish a process of regular monitoring and priority setting through an implementation plan. Responding to this call and overseeing ESP implementation actions is also a key task of the Joint Secretariat.
High level space policy group
According to the EC-ESA Framework Agreement, the Joint Secretariat shall consult on a regular and informal basis high-level representatives of the member countries of the European Community and of the European Space Agency, with the purpose of reaching common understanding on issues related to the implementation of the Framework Agreement. To this end, the high level space policy group was created in 2004. Its meetings are regularly held in Brussels around 4-5 times a year.