A new web site for ESA's Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS) has been launched. The web site, located at pecs.esa.int, includes information regarding the countries that have signed European cooperating State (ECS) agreements with ESA.
These countries, known as European Cooperating States, at the moment include: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania. The web site provides a factsheet and contact information for each European Cooperating State, as well as contact information for PECS manager, Bernard Zufferey.
Current and past news items and highlights regarding PECS and the countries involved are listed on the website. Another feature is the documentation downloads section. This area contains the PECS Implementation Contract which is the guideline for the preparation of a work description and financial plan.
ESA's PECS programme is designed to help European countries, particularly those that joined the EU after 2004, to join ESA in order to expand the overall European scientific and industrial base and to enrich ESA as a research and development organisation.
To be a PECS candidate, a country must already have signed a Framework Agreement with ESA. If a country wishes to participate more fully with ESA, a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement is drawn up.
The ECS Agreement, which allows a country to participate in ESA procurements and activities, should be complemented within a year by a PECS Charter, a five-year plan jointly agreed between ESA and the country concerned. During those five years, the country performs a number of activities, mostly in research and development, to help it develop expertise within its space industry.
"The ECS Agreement better suits the current industrial and financial capacities of the country than the closer Associate Membership," explains Zufferey.
"It creates a natural extension of the existing very fruitful collaboration and allows these four countries to participate in all Agency programmes and enables ESA to benefit from their expertise."
Zufferey's role as PECS manager is to help cooperating states identify the type of ESA projects that are the most suitable. The PECS office is also available to provide guidance during the five years of the PECS Charter.
The new PECS website will assist Zufferey in his role as manager. As the PECS programme matures and new countries sign ECS agreements with ESA, the PECS website will grow to accommodate the change.
"No web site is cast in stone," says Zufferey. "The PECS web site will be updated on a regular basis to ensure the information is current."
For more information on PECS
Head of Section New, Cooperating and Associate States
Tel. +31 (0) 7156 55295