An agreement on closer cooperation between ESA and Slovenia was signed on 28 May, by René Oosterlinck, ESA Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations, and Mojca Kucler Dolinar, the Slovenian Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology.
In the ceremony at the Sneznik Castle (east of Ljubljana), the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Janša, welcomed the ESA delegation and confirmed the support his Government is ready to give to this new agreement.
In May 2006, a Slovenian delegation led by Mr Peterle (former Slovenian Prime Minister and currently a Member of the European Parliament) visited ESA’s European Space Research & Technology Centre (ESTEC).
As a follow up, an ESA delegation went to Ljubljana in February 2007 to exchange information with the State Secretary in the Ministry of Higher Education, Mr Lesjak, and with many potential partners in the Josef Stefan Institute and with entrepreneurs in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Slovenia is the second recent EU Member State to sign a Cooperation Agreement with ESA. Estonia did so in June 2007. The adoption of the European Space Policy by both ESA and the EU confirms the importance of ESA’s space activities for EU Member States. Several other EU members have approached ESA with a request to participate in ESA’s activities.
ESA participated through its Earth Observation Directorate in the ‘Bridging the gap’ conference in Portorož, 14-16 May 2008, which was organised by the Slovenian Environmental Agency.
This Cooperation Agreement is a first step. It is expected that Slovenia will in a few years become a European Cooperating State, with an increased financial contribution to space activities.
For more information, contact:
Anabelle Fonseca Colomb
ESA International Relations Department
Tel: +33 1 5369 7238
Email: anabelle.fonseca.colomb @ esa.int