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Czech Republic and Hungary move closer to ESA

Hungary and the Czech Republic have both signed 'European cooperating State' (ECS) agreements with the European Space Agency (ESA), allowing them to participate in nearly all of the agency's programmes. For these two countries, this concludes a process that began in 1999 when...

Hungary and the Czech Republic have both signed 'European cooperating State' (ECS) agreements with the European Space Agency (ESA), allowing them to participate in nearly all of the agency's programmes. For these two countries, this concludes a process that began in 1999 when the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania approached ESA with a view to increasing their participation in European space activities. The agreement will see both countries making an annual payment to ESA. This will initially amount to five million euro over a five year period, and 93 per cent of this will return to each country in the form of contracts to industry and research institutes. To be a candidate for this new agreement, a country must be European, and must have already signed a framework agreement with ESA. The agreement 'opens up the possibility of increasing the potential synergy between ESA programmes and the future plans in the space field for our [European partners],' said ESA programme manager, Henk Olthof. 'The ECS agreement better suits their current industrial and financial capacities than the closer associate membership. It creates a natural extension of the existing, very fruitful collaboration, and [...] enables ESA to benefit from their expertise.'

Countries

Czechia, Hungary