Ministerial Council Meetings

ESA’s Council of Ministers

The Council is ESA's governing body and provides the basic policy guidelines within which ESA develops the European space programme. Each Member State is represented on the Council and has one vote. ESA is headed by a Director General who is elected by the Council every four years.

The ESA Council meets as and when required and at least twice a year at delegate level and regularly at ministerial level. From time to time, joint and concomitant meetings of the ESA Council and the European Union Council are organised, and are referred to as “Space Council”.

ESA Ministerial Council 2012

European ministers and representatives at Ministerial Council 2012

The latest ESA Ministerial Council took place in November 2012, where ministers in charge of of space activities in ESA's 20 Member States and Canada, met in Naples, Italy, to agree to undertake new initiatives in several fields and endorse the next phases of a set of ongoing programmes.

The decisions were a further step towards giving Europe the means to respond to global challenges. In keeping with the European Space Policy, designed in cooperation with the European Union, the measures will further strengthen Europe’s role in the development and exploitation of space applications serving public policy objectives and the needs of European citizens and enterprises.

ESA Ministerial Council Press Conference replay

These decisions have particular relevance at the present time, showing as they do Europe’s determination to invest in space as a key sector providing for innovation, economic growth, strategic independence and the preparation of the future. Resolutions were adapted recognising that space is a strategic asset and that it is of fundamental importance for the independence, security and prosperity of Europe.

The Ministerial Council 2012 was concluded by the adoption of four Resolutions:
- Resolution on the role of ESA in sustaining competitiveness and growth in Europe;
- Resolution on the level of resources for the Agency’s Mandatory activities 2013–2017;
- Resolution on the CSG (2012-2017); and
- Political Declaration towards the European Space Agency that best serves Europe.

For more on ESA Ministerial Council 2012, see ESA Press Release37-2012: http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Ministerial_Council_2012/European_Ministers_decide_to_invest_in_space_to_boost_Europe_s_competitiveness_and_growth and Watch the Press Conference Video: http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Ministerial_Council_2012/Watch_the_replay_Ministerial_Council_press_conference

Space Council 2010

Jean-Jacques Dordain, during the 7th Space Council press conference

The latest, the Seventh Space Council, took place in November 2010 leading to the adoption of a resolution on “Global challenges: taking full benefit of European space systems”.

Last update: 10 February 2014

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