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ESA and EU to develop a unified space strategy

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union (EU) have announced their desire to collaborate on a unified space strategy for the future. At the ESA ministerial meeting in Brussels on 11 and 12 May 1999, the European Commissioners responsible for industry, research, a...

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union (EU) have announced their desire to collaborate on a unified space strategy for the future. At the ESA ministerial meeting in Brussels on 11 and 12 May 1999, the European Commissioners responsible for industry, research, and transport confirmed that closer cooperation between the EU and ESA will be developed. Ministers from the 14 member countries of the European Space Agency and Canada, which has a cooperation agreement with the ESA, met to set out objectives for the future of European space activities. They agreed to spend a total of 2,103 million euro over the next five years to implement scientific missions, and approved investments in new space-related development programmes. These include a long-term programme of environmental science (the 'Living Planet'), further enhancements to Europe's launcher industry, new developments for satellite navigation, satellite communications, and preparations for providing Europe's contribution to the International Space Station in its early years of operation. ESA has now also decided to proceed with a full programme definition for the Galileo global navigation satellite system. This will initially be undertaken in partnership with the EU, which is expected to reach a decision on the programme in June.