On 24 November 2004 Ms Petra Buzkova, the Czech Republic Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, and Mr Lars Fredén, Head of ESA’s International Relations Department, signed the Plan for European Cooperating State Charter in Prague.
The Czech Republic now becomes the second European Cooperating State to whom ESA has granted that status. Hungary was the first country to sign a Plan for European Cooperating State (PECS) in November 2003.
The signature of the PECS Charter by the Czech Republic and ESA followed on from the signing of the European Cooperating State Agreement on 24 November 2003. It will allow the start of the PECS activities agreed on by ESA and the Czech Republic and specified in the Charter, that will take place over a five-year period.
Cooperation between ESA and the Czech Republic commenced in 1996 with the conclusion of a Framework Cooperation Agreement and in 2000 the Czech Republic joined the PRODEX programme. The signing of the PECS Charter represents a new milestone in the relations between the Czech Republic and ESA as the Czech Republic will now be able to participate in almost all ESA programmes and activities.
Within the PECS, the Czech Republic will mainly participate in space science activities (48.8%), ground segment activities (21.2%) and Earth observation programmes (14.6%).