Hungary and the European Space Agency have signed an extension to the PECS Agreement for another five years. As a result of this extension, Hungary can take part in ESA programmes as a European Cooperating State until 2013. This will not exclude the possibility for Hungary to become a full Member State of ESA during the next five years.
This signing marks the an extension of the agreement that was signed in 2003 with ESA. After a long duration of preparation, Mr Károly Molnár, the Minister for Research and Development on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Hungary and Mr Jean-Jacques Dordain, the Director General of the European Space Agency signed the Extension Agreement on 26 September, 2008.
Hungary was the first Central European country to sign the Cooperation Agreement with ESA in 1991. In 1996, Hungary became the first non-ESA member to join the ESA PRODEX scientific programme. After the Budapest Workshop in 1999, ESA prepared a new way of cooperation - the status of European Cooperating State. Hungary became the first ECS country, and in May, 2007 Hungary began accession negotiations with ESA.